Media info - Southampton
New Regional/local support group in Southampton
A mum from Southampton is using personal experience to help others who cannot eat in the traditional way.
Jasmine Cheesman has been working with the charity PINNT to set up the first support group in Southampton for those who rely on artificial nutrition.
Jasmine’s daughter Isobel, who is three years old, has been fed via a tube since she was born. Jasmine says “When we first came home with Isobel from hospital, I really wanted to find some support, but there was nothing. There were groups online but nothing to help you talk to others in the same boat.”
The mum of one then found PINNT, a charity set up to help adults and children who need artificial nutrition. The organisation, which recently celebrated 25 years, provides families with support and practical information on how to live with the daily issues they have to face with these life-saving but complex therapies.
Dr Trevor Smith, Consultant Gastroenterologist at Southampton General Hospital, says “Patients with complex health issues requiring artificial nutrition can feel very isolated. PINNT’s meetings at Southampton has provide opportunities for patients to meet others with similar health and treatment issues. Patients themselves often come up with unique solutions to practical problems with which we cannot help. It is also an opportunity for us to discuss with them the local services we provide and how that fits into the new national service for intestinal failure.”
PINNT has already helped set up a number of support groups across the UK. They help hundreds of adults and children, and their families, who need to be fed using a tube live the best lives they can.
In Southampton 37 year old Jasmine, who’s from Hedge End, has been working alongside Carolyn Wheatley, Chair of PINNT as well as Karen Dick a specialist nurse and Dr Smith from Southampton General.
The first meeting took place on Saturday 27th April, when 40 adults and children on both enteral and parenteral therapy attended with their families and carers, travelling from as far afield as Worthing, Gosport and Christchurch as well as from local areas such as Shirley and Hedge End. The children attending enjoyed face painting and games together with a plentiful supply of cakes and biscuits.
Jasmine’s hope that the meeting would provide a relaxed social atmosphere and a place for people to chat were fully realised. “I’m thrilled at how well this first meeting has gone,” says Jasmine. “Talking to people here they have all appreciated the effort we have all made - that’s made me feel pretty emotional!”
Carolyn Wheatley, Chair of PINNT, concludes: “I am very pleased that this new group is now established in Southampton as this is close to my home and so I will be able to meet more people in the same situation as me. Also Southampton is an excellent centre for both paediatric and adult nutrition services and so PINNT is delighted that we are being hosted here.”
The first meeting coincided with the charity's launch of their new Half PINNT video, a guide for families coping with babies and children with gastro or health issues requiring artificial nutrition.
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