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24 May 2018
Somara Baig from Luton who has serious health conditions including Multiple Sclerosis, says she wouldn’t have managed to keep going without the NHS staff who have made such a difference to her life.
“I love the NHS because of the people who work in it and I want to share my personal story as part of the NHS 70th birthday.
I’ve been going back and forth from Luton and Dunstable Hospital for over 15 years and with my hand on my heart I can say that every single nurse and doctor I have encountered has been genuinely caring, sincere, compassionate, and respectful.
My health entered a downward spiral after I had an epileptic seizure in the university library about 20 years ago. Some years later I suddenly lost sight in my left eye which led to a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. Some parts of my body stopped working soon after, while others formed a mind of their own, and the parts that were left lost their strength.
Then, about three years ago I developed a rare condition best described as a movement disorder affecting my speech and my legs. These are all similar conditions where the immune system attacks the nervous system, but NHS staff have formed an army to help me thrive and get through this constant battle.
I’ve had needles in parts of my body I didn’t even know existed, while hospitals have become second homes and medicines are my life-long companions. And I’m really grateful for all of this because it gives me a life that’s the closest to ‘normal’ that I could ever have.
Aside from the physical disability that comes with my condition, my ability to process information is also compromised at times. During my appointments or when I have to stay in hospital, staff have always explained details to me in a way that I’m able to understand, and that means more than I can put into words.
Because of my health conditions, there are many times when my body makes involuntary movements, often when I’m outdoors, which makes me feel self-conscious. I notice people glancing my way and I often wonder if they think I’m a crazy woman. But the hospital staff have always made me feel comfortable, and I know I can go there and all the weird movements that my body makes won’t matter.
It’s so important to me, to celebrate the 70 years of the NHS, because without it and the staff who make it, I probably wouldn’t have managed to fight this battle for as long as I have, and for that, I thank you NHS.”