Teenager Adam and mum Lesley help launch artificial nutrition support group
A mum-of-five whose youngest son gets fed through a tube directly into his heart is launching a support group tomorrow, Tuesday.
Lesley Carmichael, from Cherry Willingham near Lincoln, is working with a charity which helps patients like her 19-year-old son Adam.
The student - who was born with bowel problems - has been on artificial nutrition for the past six years.
He gets £400-worth of vitamins, minerals and calories each night through a permanent catheter - but has to have regular in-patient treatment at Nottingham Queen's Medical Centre.
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And both Adam and his mum will be at the launch of the PINNT local support group at the city's Voluntary Action Centre from 12.30pm until 3pm on Tuesday.
They will explain how, after being tube-fed as a baby, Adam had to get used to doing it all over again when he got to 13.
"It took some getting used to. School was difficult because of recurring problems and in the end I was home-schooled," said Adam, who moved to Cherry Willingham from Poole in Dorset with his parents 18 months ago.
"I am able to tolerate some food and drink, but have to plan social activity carefully and be back with enough time to get my nutrition in the evening and overnight.
"I'm lucky my friends make an effort to be with me and help."
Mum Lesley, 50, said: "This first meeting will be an opportunity to meet and share experiences of living either as a carer or as a patient. I am really looking forward to it.
"The charity's main job is to bring adults and children on artificial nutrition and their families together.
"The idea is to get to know others coping with this life-saving and life-giving therapy by exchanging practical information and providing support to one another."
QMC consultant gastroenterologist Dr Tim Bowling said: "Patients requiring artificial nutrition can feel very isolated.
"This new group will provide opportunities for patients to meet others with similar health and treatment issues, together with their families and carers."