From eight painkillers a day to zero: Sunderland respite care facility helps struggling mother-of-four with intense back pain and depression

  • Two of Joanne's four children are disabled
  • She suffered with back pain and depression
  • A local respite facility has helped her turn her life around

Written by Callum Patterson for DonateToday

PUBLISHED: 12:13, 21st Sep 2017 | UPDATED: 12:00, 30th Oct 2017

Intense Pain

Joanne used to suffer from intense back pain and was taking painkillers, as well as anti-depressants and sleeping tablets, every day

Joanne from Southwick, Sunderland has four children, two of whom are disabled, and a husband.

She used to suffer from intense back pain and struggled with her mental health, taking eight painkillers a day to relieve her physical pain, as well as the anti-depressants and sleeping tablets she was taking in an attempt to deal with her mental health issues.

When speaking to Grace House’s website, Joanne admits that she and her husband never made time to spend together. All of this changed after she began accessing treatment at Grace House.

The mother-of-four began taking advantage of therapy and massage sessions at the Sunderland respite care facility and the improvements to both her mental and physical health have been profound.


Since accessing the treatments, and improving her back pain, Joanne has picked up new hobbies including going to the gym with her husband and swimming, and has been able to stop taking pain relief tablets completely.

This new exercise regime, coupled with taking up healthy eating, had seen Joanne lose 45 pounds and her husband lose two stone, at the time she spoke to the website. 

On a Scale of One to Ten

Thanks to having such a positive experience at Grace House, Joanne has gone as far as recommending the facility to a friend who also has two disabled children. ‘I don’t think people realise just how much it has changed me,’ she says. ‘I’m amazed at how my life has turned around: My husband and I spend time together now, the girls are more stable, and feeling better has helped me be able to cope better.

Massage treatments from Grace House helped Joanne with her back pain

‘I would never have been able to join the gym because of the pain in my back, and only because of the therapies, I have been able to do so.’

Joanne was asked to rate how she felt on a scale of one to 10 (one being poor, 10 being excellent) before her treatments, and how she felt at the time she spoke to the website. ‘When I started, I was a one,’ she admits. ‘I was in a really bad place but I am now a 10!’

Please note that names may have been changed to protect the privacy of those involved. Images are used for illustrative purposes only and, unless specified, persons included in images are posed models, not the persons mentioned in the article.