Support Group for Families of seriously ill

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.


7 Replies

  • Oh bless him! I had similar experience. I had meningitis and septicemia that left me fighting for my life. I was in hospital for 8 months. With so many surgeries and amputation. I lost my hearing, my feet and a host of other complications. I have no family whatsoever around me except friends. My wife left me while I was still in hospital. I have survived the worst days. But still far from recovery. It's quite upsetting.

  • Well thank you Tilly, I am sure there are lots of relatives out there who would welcome that support, my husband was certainly one of them, and you are right, it is never truly forgotten and is still a constant worry that I am going to be OK in the future however well I think I may be (or fool myself into believing), its a great idea and I hope you have lots of support on it. Good luck

  • I'm so sorry to hear about your experience vasco. I hope you stay strong and are making as good a recovery as possible. Thank you for your support Canada, I hope I can spread the word to reach out to people. Even if I just help one person it will be truly worth it. I don't think people realise all the after effects of it that many experience. Thank you again, hopefully I can make a difference

  • Hi Tilly, I recovered from bacterial meningitis and it was sudden, serious and scary for all involved. That was 2 years ago and the fears are not gone for any of us. The one Dr. at the time told me he didn't think I realized how sick I was. He was wrong. I could read it on the faces of family and friends all around me, I still can. My family fears for me still today. They clung to each other during the acute crisis time but I am sure that they could benefit from a support blog. I know I love this forum as it shows me how others in similar situations cope. Good Luck and Kind Regards. Jeffery

  • I'm sorry to hear about your situation Jeffrey. If you use the link above your family are more than welcome to write on my forum and I could share my experience as a relative with them and vice versa. Thank you for the support

  • I agree, you can't just 'get over' this situation, you need advice and reassurance. To have a forum is a very good idea. Sorba

  • Thank you for the support Shorba

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