A Preston man has been given a new lease of life thanks to a pioneering exercise app.Advertisement
Edmund England’s kidneys failed five years ago while he was receiving treatment for prostate cancer.
Doctors found the 78-year-old’s kidney function had fallen to just seven per cent which was either the result of the cancer or treatment he had been receiving.
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Consultants referred him to Kidney Beam, an online exercise programme, which was being run in conjunction with King’s College Hospital in London.
Edmund said: “I was pretty immobile before I started the course, I think the most exercise I got was going down the stairs and I rarely go out.
“Being on your own as you get older, you’re less likely to exercise and you just get stuck in a rut. So being able to exercise from the comfort of your living room while sitting down is quite incredible. After I got over the initial aches and pains, I started to feel like I could do more. I can feel my body getting stronger and my breathing has become much easier.”
Edmund knows that he may eventually need dialysis treatment if his kidney disease worsens. Being more physically fit and more mentally prepared should help him to cope with this. Facing the prospect of life-limiting treatments has been daunting, but Edmund has found solace in the friendships he’s made while exercising.
He said: “Living with a chronic condition can be a very lonely place. You don’t really know what’s around the corner. When I log on to do my exercises, I’m met with so many lovely people who are all passionate about improving their lives and their company is something that helps me get through it.”
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Edmund continued: “I cannot describe the impact it’s had on my mental health; we’ve even set up a WhatsApp group to discuss everything from our condition to baking recipes and even the weather. I am heading for dialysis which is daunting, but I have people on Kidney Beam who reassure me and that makes it a lot less scary. The exercise is amazing, and finding a community of people has completely changed my life.”
Dr Aisling McMahon, executive director of research and policy at Kidney Research UK, said: “Kidney Beam is such a simple idea that helps to tackle a real unmet need across the kidney population. We know that increased physical and mental health translates into positive outcomes for kidney disease patients, so ensuring access to this amazing programme is paramount. We look forward to seeing Beam rolled out across even more hospitals and will work closely with the NHS to bring this highly effective course into healthcare policy.”
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