MS Awareness Month - Caregiver Hero Spotlight!
Meet Randall K.!
Join us in recognizing March as MS Awareness Month. Multiple Sclerosis is a chronic disease affecting the nervous system, and nearly 1 million people are living with MS in the United States today. We received over 1,000 Caregiver of the Year entries highlighting amazing caregivers in our community, many of which support a loved one with MS. We received an entry about Caregiver Hero Randall K. and his commitment to helping his wife with MS. We were so touched to read Randall’s story, and we are honored to share it with our caregiving community.
Read Randall’s story below, as told by his wife, Judith:
“My husband’s love and care for me during my worst exacerbation of Multiple Sclerosis has allowed me to remain at home rather than going into a nursing home. In April 2021 I had a terrible fall in the shower and could not get up. My legs were like jelly and had become painfully twisted. Randy’s calm and methodical demeanor helped me to understand what had happened and allowed us to figure out what we could do to alleviate the situation. We called the rescue squad and they were able to get me to the recliner chair in our living room. That is where I would stay for the next 10 days.
Randy arranged plastic sheeting under me along with terry cloth towels because I could not get up to use the bathroom. He kept me sane. We decided to call my neurologist who said I should have home health assistance so he arranged for an agency to contact me and that I should have a hospital bed and a hoyer lift. My husband took over caregiving responsibilities with no hesitation. He moved furniture out of my craft room so the hospital bed could be placed there.
The home health physical therapist showed Randy how to use the hoyer lift. I was then able to be put into the hospital bed. At this point, my husband became my absolute lifeline as he changed my diapers, changed the bed, gave me bed baths, did all the shopping and cooking, housekeeping and laundry, all the time while still maintaining his part-time employment as a church organist/choir director. We had to purchase mobility equipment to use at home so that as I became stronger I could use a bedside commode and even eventually use the rolling shower chair so he could help me take a shower. He helped me all along the way, and even then when I was next diagnosed with a cancerous kidney tumor, he stayed steadfast in his commitment to my care. He purchased a wheelchair accessible van so that he could take me to doctor’s appointments. He has really thought of everything possible to make my life as happy, productive, and pain-free as possible.
Truly we have become partners, well beyond our marriage vows. In September of 2022 we will celebrate our 49th wedding anniversary. My life has been enriched and maintained because of my husband’s dedication to the vow of “in sickness and in health.”
The love and devotion that Randall has shown to his wife inspires us as we continue our mission to support as many Caregivers as we can. We hope that this story has touched you the way that it touched us, and if you or a loved one are facing challenges due to MS, know that you are not alone.
Check out the following MS resources:
Jessie Ary is Carewell's Content Coordinator. When Jessie isn't writing for Carewell, she spends her time attempting to climb rocks and traveling throughout the country with her cat, Carrot.