'My mother is 92 years old. In her forties she developed rheumatoid arthritis in her legs. She also has idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Then she got cancer.
I look after my mother and this is her journey.
She has lived with me since she lost my father 13 years ago. When she was in her forties she developed rheumatoid arthritis in her legs and also swelling around her knees. In her sixties the arthritis went into her lungs and she was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Slowly her condition deteriorated and she had to go on oxygen. As the years went by her oxygen intake had to be raised from 2 to 3 litres. She was unable to walk a couple of yards without stopping to get her breath and would need to sit for 5 minutes before she was able to speak. Even if she caught a common cold she would have to take antibiotics as it would have weakened her enough to kill her. Because of the arthritis she fell over regularly, it was very worrying and she was always covered in bruises.'