This shocking picture is of a 35 year old woman in the final stages of alcoholism.
This is the sad and deadly end of chronic alcohol abuse. This is Beverley Pickorer, she is just 35 years old. She is the mother of four children, aged between six and fifteen, who are all now in care due to her inability to care for them. In fact, Ms Pickorer can no longer care for herself, she now resides permanently in a care home for the elderly receiving palliative care from nurses 24 hours a day in Haythorne Place Care Home, in Shiregreen. Unable to speak or feed herself she relies on this care and support from her partner Anthony to survive but she now faces certain death from liver cirrhosis. Ms Pickorer has been drink-dependent for years (becoming an alcoholic in her early 20s) and at the height of her drinking she was consuming up to 24 cans of lager plus a bottle of perry – pear cider – in the morning, then visiting the pub and drinking as many as 16 cans when she returned home. This lead to where she is today. Her teeth are rotten, her stomach is swollen, she suffers regularly from epileptic seizures and her skin is thin and jaundiced. She has been in Shiregreen for eight months, having been in hospital for four months prior to this.
Her now distraught partner has agreed to release her pictures and share her story so others can see the devastating effects of alcohol abuse but also in an attempt to bring her home to die. It is sometimes hard to believe how little people still know about a death from alcoholism. The lucky ones go quickly, choke on their own vomit or overdose the unlucky ones go like this.
Her partner Athony said ‘It’s tragic. We made an agreement that when she dies she would die in my arms at home, but the NHS has said it would be too expensive to care for her at home… “They would have to pay for one caregiver and a nurse. She’s has a syringe driver to stop her having seizures. But Beverley wants to die at home and I don’t think you can deny a person that.” Regardless of his motives if this story sends one woman for the help and treatment she needs then he will have saved a life and it is worth it.
Kevin Clifford, chief nurse for NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group, said he couldn’t comment on individual patients but did say “Whenever possible, the CCG looks to arrange care which meets the wishes of patients and their caregivers, as well as their care needs. However, in so doing, we have to consider the safest and most appropriate manner in which an individual’s needs can be met.” “It is always regrettable when we have to take a decision based on a patient’s safety which doesn’t meet the hopes of their family. But we work with the family to offer them a range of solutions, and endeavor to offer a care package that is in the best interests of the patient and agreeable to the family.”
Much like their neighboring country Ireland, the increased affordability of alcohol and changes in drinking behaviors have created a surge in alcohol abuse in the UK. Alcohol is now 45% more affordable than in 1980 and the country has seen a 9% increase in alcohol consumption over the 3 decades. In England in 2011/12 there were 49.456 hospital admissions for alcohol related liver disease. Matt McMullen, from the Sheffield Alcohol Support Service, said Beverley’s situation is “very sad”. The service’s activities coordinator continued to say, “Unfortunately it is not unheard of for someone of such a young age to be experiencing such severe health problems as a result of alcohol consumption.” And with alcohol consumption and alcohol related diseases on the rise, stories similar to that of Ms Pickorer’s, will most definitely be something we will hear more and more about in the coming years.
The Daily Mail in the UK first carried the story the complete article is here with more of these harrowing pictures.