Pat's Story

Feeding using the PEG tube is no bother. It's an absolute godsend and I'd not be without it.

Nutricia Homeward: "Absolutely fantastic" support wherever you live

Pat, a sprightly, cheerful 84 year old, first experienced difficulty swallowing in her 20s. "Over the years I became used to pain when I swallowed, which varied from bearable to excruciating" she says "but eventually eating became just to painful".

The underlying cause of Pat's swallowing problems is not clear despite extensive investigations. However, about two years ago - during a long hospital admission complicated by peritonitis (inflammation of the lining of the inner wall of the abdomen) and breathing problems - Pat agreed to enteral feeding through a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) tube. At the time her family remarked that she seemed drawn and, at one point, Pat weighed just 34kg (about 5 stone 5 pounds).

Pat has taken nothing by mouth since the tube's placement, yet her daughter recently commented that she no longer looks drawn and she's now a healthy weight. "Feeding using the PEG tube is no bother" she says. "It's an absolute godsend and I'd not be without it".

Pat, a former healthcare professional, is keen to use her positive experience to help reassure other people who need a PEG tube. During one hospital visit, she met a 23 year old woman who was due to have a PEG tube fitted to administer anti-epileptic medication when she experienced seizures. "I pulled the curtain around us and showed her my PEG tube" Pat recounts. "I told her that the PEG tube was fantastic, which seemed to go some way to alleviating her fears. I'd tell anyone who needs a PEG tube to get one and not to worry".

Delivering support

Pat has lived in Shetland, a 12-hour ferry ride or more than an hour's flight from the mainland, after leaving her native West Yorkshire when she was 29 years old. Despite relative geographical isolation, Pat finds the Nutricia Homeward service invaluable, especially as she lives alone. "I can pick up the phone any time of the night or day and I will get a rapid response and the support I need" she says. Pat know that she can call about any issue, from a skin reaction to problems opening packaging.

"One one occasion I found connecting the giving sets to the bags of feed was almost impossible because of my arthritic wrist" Pat says. "But after I phone Nutricia Homeward, a manager called me back to discuss the problem. The manager phoned around the manufacturers and found a version that was easier to connect and I've had no problems since. It meant I didn't have to rely on my neighbours. I could be independent again".

Pat also finds that using Nutricia Homeward means she doesn't have to "bother the local health centre" about her enteral nutrition. "It's really reassuring to know that there is someone at the end of the phone when I need help" Pat concludes. "The Nutricia Homeward service is absolutely fantastic".

This website should be used for information purposes only for UK patients and carers of patients who are tube feeding. This information provided does not replace the advice and supervision of a doctor, dietitian, or any other member of the healthcare team. It’s important to follow the advice given to you by your healthcare professional.