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Photo: From left to right: KMSTC support manager Karen Middlemiss, Professor James and Petra Kliempt by our Oxygen Therapy chamber.
Our Oxygen Therapy chamber is the only one of its kind in East Kent. While it’s well known that many of our members with MS rely on it to help ease daily symptoms, fewer realise it’s available for people who are suffering from conditions other than MS too.
We thought it was about time we got the word out about one of our greatest assets. So on 27 November we threw open the doors to Kent MS Therapy Centre for an awareness evening about the benefits of Oxygen Therapy.
Our star speaker
Joining us all the way from the University of Dundee was Professor Philip James, the UK’s leading Oxygen Therapy expert and medical advisor of the many MS therapy centres up and down the country. He was ably assisted by Petra Kliempt, an honorary NHS specialist trainer in hyperbaric medicine.
Professor James advised on the Oxygen Therapy that helped L/Bombardier Ben Parkinson take his first steps again. Ben sustained major injuries while serving as a paratrooper in Afghanistan in 2006 and since starting Oxygen Therapy in early 2015 he’s even been able to kayak 250 miles down the Yukon River in Canada.
Attendees at our Oxygen Therapy event
Almost 60 health professionals and members of the public packed the Wacher Suite upstairs at the centre as Professor James explained how oxygen can help with healing. Guests included a GP, several neurophysios, occupational therapists and sports physios and osteopaths. There were also people suffering from non-MS conditions who were interested in hearing more about how it might help them.
Moving first-person stories
After people had a chance to ask Professor James questions, it was over to those who’d all benefited personally from Oxygen Therapy. The five success stories who gave moving interviews and testimonials were:
- Gwen Frost, who’d suffered tissue damage after radiotherapy for cancer
- Maria Apps, a rheumatoid arthritis patient
- Ruth Epps, who’d been diagnosed with cancer
- Trish McCombe, whose granddaughter has cerebral palsy
- Scott Sinden, who lives with a rare inherited motor neuron disease, Kennedy’s Disease
A team effort
Next, guests split into groups to tour the centre – and experience the Oxygen Therapy chamber for themselves. There was also lots of networking and some vital refreshments (including tasty KMSTC-branded biscuits!).
During this time many people also took the chance to ask Professor James directly for his advice on how Oxygen Therapy might help their own conditions.
Prof. James chats to Centre users
Our awareness evening was the first lecture we’d held in the new centre, and we really couldn’t have done it without vital help from our fantastic team of volunteers.
“We last organised an Oxygen Therapy awareness event over a decade ago, but only a fraction of the number of people came along”, said Karen Middlemiss, KMSTC’s support manager. “Seeing such a great turnout on Friday just confirms what we’ve thought all along – that Oxygen Therapy can help so many more people. We’ve had several new bookings since the event and are very hopeful numbers will rise as the word gets out.”
Would you like to find out more about how Oxygen Therapy could help you?
Please see https://kentmstc.org.uk/services/oxygen-therapy/oxygen-therapy-non-ms-conditions/ or call us on 01227 470876.
All photos thanks to Scott Sinden.