I have decided to set up a support group called Relative Aid for relatives of people who are/have been seriously ill. In 2006 my father contracted septicaemia. It was extremely sudden, and left him fighting for his life as his vital organs began to fail. He was in intensive care for a month- being sedated, put on dialysis, and given a drug to rush blood from his extremities to his failing organs. Although this drug saved his life, it led to him losing both legs, his right arm, his left hand and his nose. He experienced several months of surgery to give him the best possibility of life. He is now walking on his prosthetic legs and is learning to use a new robotic hand. He is the bravest and most inspiring man I know, and has never once complained or felt sorry for himself over what happened. As a 13 year old at the time, I was unable to cope with the emotions and strains that this trauma put on me. I saw my family unable to cope with the situation especially due to its suddenness, and I was determined to stay strong for them. Therefore I never let my emotions get hold of me, and I took it upon myself to support my family in the absence of my dad. Although at the time I felt that this was the best thing to do, it has led to an extremely difficult past few years. I have found it increasingly difficult to come to terms with the situation. I felt at the time that I would have really liked to have had someone in a similar situation to talk to, and I am sure that it would have really helped. Having done some research I have not found any support group for the families of people who are experiencing/have experienced a serious illness, and I would like to start one so that people in similar situations have someone to talk to.
I have started a forum and Facebook page for anyone who has had a family member overcome serious illness, no matter what age or what illness they may have had. I believe that there is a myth that if the family member survives, life goes back to normal and it is forgotten about, but I know that this isn't always the case and often dealing with what happened and the effect it has on life is extremely difficult.
I hope the group can help, and will provide some support for those going through similar experiences.