Pete has Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) – a rare progressive neurological disease that affects his speech and mobility. For him, visiting Mountbatten is about living well with his illness.

Pete’s regular visits to our Hazel Centre in West End are often spent in the gym. With the support of our rehabilitation team, he exercises to build and maintain strength throughout his body.

Krissy Hanson, Rehabilitation and Enablement Lead, said: "People often don't realise that patients are living with a life-limiting condition. We support people who are living, often for several years. The most important thing is we understand what matters to them, and help them to achieve it, whether that’s maintaining mobility, building confidence, or being able to keep doing the things they love.”

Pete, who now uses technology to communicate, told us he's grateful that as his disease has progressed, the gym sessions have helped him to maintain more of his everyday abilities. The independence that comes from doing things himself, wherever possible, is a big boost to his wellbeing. 

Talking about the future

While building up his strength in the gym, Pete has also built a close relationship with members of the rehabilitation team. They have a good laugh, but are also able to talk more seriously then they need to. 

Krissy said "We've supported Pete and his family to have conversations about the future, including his goals, and his wishes for when his condition deteriorates.

"I'm glad we know what's important to him, and that his family does too. Often, we help people to fully understand their condition and talk about the future, and it makes them feel less afraid."

One big thing they knew matters to Pete is his football club - he's a serious Saints supporter! Recently, when the team wanted to do something extra special for him, they reached out to Southampton football Club and were able to arrange a VIP hospitality experience at the stadium for him and his family, which was fantastic experience for them to have together.  

Could you support the rehabilitation team and people like Pete?

We are looking for volunteers who can support patients with independent exercise programmes. 

To find out more and apply, contact the rehabilitation team on 02382 548 830 or click the button below.

Apply to volunteer