Carer helped by support programme

Burnham carer helped by support programme

11:40am Friday 25th March 2011

PICTURED are the carers from Burnham, with Sylvie seen stood second left.
PICTURED are the carers from Burnham, with Sylvie seen stood second left.

A BURNHAM carer whose husband, son and daughter suffer the same crippling disease has taken advantage of a vital support programme.

Sylvie Richards has looked after her husband, 43-year-old John, for the last 20 years as he suffers from Huntington’s Disease.

To make matters worse for Sylvie, both her son and daughter have also been diagnosed with the devastating illness, and her son, who was diagnosed 12 years ago, now lives full time in a care home.

Sylvie is one of several carers to have recently completed the carer support programme run by St John Ambulance and Somerset County Council.

She said: “My life is dedicated to caring for John and my daughter and it’s a 24/7 role. I feel very lonely, completely on my own.

“The St John course has enabled me to get out, to meet other carers and to learn many skills that will help in my caring role.”

Emily Lang, who runs the courses, added: “Sylvie is typical of many carers that we come across and it is heartbreaking to hear what they have to put up with.

“We are happy to support them in any way we can and the usual cry at the end of each course is ‘if only I’d known that’.

“It is rewarding that many of the groups keep together after the courses as friendships are very often formed within the group and St John is always here to help them in the future.”

For more information about the programme call Emily on 01278-726740 or visit

One Response to Carer helped by support programme

  1. Maggie Chandler says:

    This is a very touching story

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