And how good cooperation can change the life of our patients.

Mr. K. has been followed up by Street Nurses for almost 4 years.  He lost his first home, which did not suit him as it was too isolated and made him loose his bearings. He could not cope with the situation and, unfortunately, landed, after a short time, back on the street. The street: that’s what he knew too well as he had lived there for dozens of years. Like most homeless people, he suffered from serious physical health and addiction problems.

© Infirmiers de rue / Straatverplegers

Even so, he got on very well with people. He knew everybody and loved to have a chat with passers-by, pub owners and his equally unfortunate fellow sufferers.

When we saw him a while ago, he complained about severe pain. Not being sure about anything but suspecting something serious, we managed to take him with us to the emergency ward. Although always recalcitrant, he came along because he understood he had no choice. Unfortunately, they didn’t take him in, inter alia because of the many Covid restrictions.

Or could his homelessness have played a role?

At our next meeting, his state had much deteriorated. His situation was so alarming that we took him back to the urgency ward suspecting he had some sort of infection. That was indeed confirmed: a serious infection with a risk of imminent death. This time he was immediately hospitalized.

With him finally in hospital, we had the opportunity to inform the nursing staff about every detail of his situation. Mediating is indeed also part of our work as carers.

The hospital doctor kept us regularly informed about his development. Healed from his infection, Mr. K. could leave the hospital,  and after starting a cure against his addiction, he could soon move into a  new home, one that suited him better.

Today, he is in a stable condition. He is being followed up by a treating physician in a medical centre, receives nursing care at his place and gets all appropriate care. He is in very good hands !

As a consequence, we were able to entrust his follow-up to his new network and free time to concentrate on other patients.

This story reinforces our conviction that work within a network is indispensable to make sure somebody gets global and efficient treatment.

Without you, there's no us

(*) We make every effort to respect the privacy of our patients and our professional secrecy. Nevertheless, we want to bear witness to how they have to survive and how we work together to reintegrate them. Therefore, the names of places and people are deliberately omitted or changed and real-life situations are placed in another context. There is no direct link between the photos and the stories above.