Great gran heralds home dialysis

AN Ipswich great-grandmother is today playing doctor and treating herself in her own home, meaning she can spend more time with her super-size family.

AN Ipswich great-grandmother is today playing doctor and treating herself in her own home, meaning she can spend more time with her super-size family.

Sheila Hedges-Quinn carries out dialysis four times a day herself, rather than travelling into hospital three times a week for the treatment which removes waste products and unwanted water from the blood.

And the 67-year-old, who suffered kidney failure two years ago and started the dialysis in late 2008, said she would recommend the home treatment to other people who needed dialysis.

The technique has allowed Mrs Hedges-Quinn, of Norwich Road, to travel to New Zealand to see her grandson get married - and she even performed dialysis on the aeroplane.

She also has more free time for her large family including five children - Sharon, Cheryl, Sean, Joeann, and Mark - her 17 grandchildren - Daniel, James, Adam, Ben, Kerry, Tom, Benny, Amiee, Emma, Barney, Neamh, Joseph, Ryan, Christina, Glen, Sophie, and Elliott - and her five great-grandchildren - Jake, Louise, Grace, Freya and Ellie.

“I would tell other people to do it at home too because you have flexibility and it gives you more control of your life,” she said.

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“If I'd have gone to hospital I wouldn't have needed to go every day, but I would have stayed in for a long time each time. Instead I choose to do it four times a day which takes half an hour each time.

“I had to have an operation to put the tubes into my tummy and they connect up to bags with fluid in.

“I can't feel it and you get used to it - you can just watch telly while you do it. I would definitely recommend it to others.”

A spokeswoman for Dialysis Options, a company which helps people have dialysis at home, said: "Home treatment enables patients to maintain a more normal and active routine with uninterrupted access to family and friends, availability for work, travel and other leisure pursuits.”

Are you treating an illness in an usual way? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.