A NEW website has been launched dedicated to the memory of a man who died from a lung condition.

Ronnie Ward, a former naval serviceman, died of COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) in 2018 aged 76.

Ronnie and his wife Julie  managed the condition for a year but then he started to need oxygen. 

The team at the hospital recommended Ronnie for a home mechanical ventilation (HMV) trial at St Thomas’ hospital in London.

HMV provides a way of supporting a patient’s breathing outside hospital.

Julie, 61, said that at first this was scary for them both as Ronnie was in a hospital bed surrounded by equipment and he hated being on the ventilator. 

She said she did not fully appreciate what Ronnie was feeling and she was frustrated when he did not want to use it.

The Argus: Ronnie WardRonnie Ward

As a result of the HMV treatment, Ronnie was able to enjoy several additional years at home with his family before he died.

Julie said: “Without HMV I am convinced we would not have had those extra years of living a relatively normal life. 

“Before starting HMV, Ronnie was admitted to hospital every few weeks but once he started on the machine, he didn’t have any hospital admissions and his care was managed at home. 

“I can’t stress strongly enough what it meant for us as a family, and for Ronnie, to have this additional time.”

The HMViP (Home Mechanical Ventilation in Partnership) Group has now developed a website with Julie's support.

Julie hopes the resource will provide support to patients with COPD and their families.


The Argus: Home Mechanical Ventilation machineHome Mechanical Ventilation machine

She also hopes it will provide an understanding of how HMV treatment can benefit patients and reduce hospital admissions.  

The website aims to provide an “innovative and informative” digital platform to support patients who have been prescribed HMV, as well as their family carers and clinicians. 

Julie added: “There wasn’t a lot of support for family carers at the time that Ronnie was using the device, so it was quite alarming at the beginning. Even though I am a nursery nurse, I wasn’t confident that I was giving Ronnie the right support.

“If the HMViP website had been available eight years ago, it would have made my life a lot less stressful. 

“I am therefore delighted to support the work of the group and to honour Ronnie’s memory by sharing my experience with other family carers.”

The HMViP Group is made up of a multi-disciplinary team representing HMV centres across the UK with a wealth of knowledge and practical experience in this field. 

The website has been designed to be inclusive, accessible, and easy to navigate with a combination of written information and videos with patients who use HMV. 

The website can be accessed here http://hmvip.co.uk/