Persistent cough and gastric reflux are debilitating and life-changing conditions that have serious effects on the lives of those who suffer from them and their families. The stories in this series were created in Hull, England in February 2013 at a Patient Voices workshop.
Over the years, Annette's persistent cough has become more intrusive and she must avoid certain foods and even certain movements of her head to avoid triggering her cough. Determined not to let it get her down, Annette lives life to the full and new treatments to calm the reflex action offer hope for the future.
Annette was always inquisitive and this led her to become a Biology teacher, helping students to perform experiments. Her persistent cough has meant she has tried many different solutions but now she has been referred to take part in a clinical trial and will be the subject of an experiment herself.
Elaine's dad became wheelchair bound shortly after she was born. Determined always to be as independent as possible, he failed to mention increasing health problems. His eventual death led Elaine to regret not taking the time to listen and hear what was being left unsaid and has made her determined to always listen to her patients and their carers.
Jo enjoys talking and her work as a respiratory nurse enables her to do what she enjoys most – helping people. But when a patient with chronic cough and reflux broke down in her clinic and threatened to take his own life, Jo found it was her listening skills that really made the difference.