Theresa was a very special lady. A wonderful wife. An amazing mother. A beloved daughter and sister. A great friend. She was also an amazing nurse. Theresa devoted her life to the care of others, always looking for ways to help and ease people’s pain. None more so than the hundreds of ME Patients in Stockport who were so incredibly lucky to receive her support, guidance and understanding along their recovery road, first as a Specialist Nurse in SMEG's ME Outreach Nurse Service and then in East Manchester’s ME/CFS Adult Service.
I was one such ME Patient. Back in 2000, very severely affected, I was little more than a breathing corpse who lay in a blacked out room in constant pain, unable to talk or walk. Fed, watered, washed, dressed and cared for 24/7 by my family, just like a baby, for the best part of 2 years. My recovery road was a long one, but it was made that much more bearable with Theresa as my guide. Her compassion knew no bounds and for my husband, Andrew and I, she was an absolute tower of strength.
The very fact that Theresa became a Specialist Nurse for ME, an illness cruelly dogged by disbelief and doubt speaks volumes about the woman she was. She was not afraid to become a champion of ME patients. She was not afraid to challenge the medical establishment's erroneous beliefs about this physically disabling illness. She was not afraid to stand up for those who could not stand up for themselves.
Over the years of my recovery Theresa and I became great pals. Even after she had left the service we stayed very much in touch. And whenever we got together I never ceased to be bowled over by her sunny personality, her love of life. A life that should have been a long and healthy one, a life that should not have been stolen by Cancer.
I shall miss her incredibly but feel blessed to have known her and had her in my life albeit for a tragically short time and every time Andrew and I do something together...something that when I was so very severely ill we wondered if we would ever do again...at those times, those weddings, those holidays, those get togethers...I shall always remember Theresa and give thanks to this special lady, who helped make all these wonderful things possible for me.