16 July 2021
For Kathryn Shipp, letting anyone she doesn’t know into her house is a big deal. After being diagnosed with a rare immunodeficiency eight years ago, which means the slightest infection can leave her seriously ill, she does everything she possibly can to limit her contact with germs.
Kathryn has a condition called WHIM, a rare immunodeficiency which means she has extremely low levels of certain white blood cells, which need to be topped up with the regular transfusions.
“Before the pandemic, I had been going to the hospital every three weeks for the infusion, but they told me it was no longer safe for me to be travelling there. When they said I’d have to have the treatment at home I was worried. I fought it all the way,” she said.
“My house is my fortress,” she said. “It’s my one safe place where I know that everything is clean and disinfected.”
“I never let anyone into the house, so to have to think about a total stranger coming in was really hard. I have a real distrust of anyone new that becomes involved with my care, so I was very concerned.”
But all of that changed when she met her Sciensus nurse Martinho Espinha, who she struck up an instant rapport with.
“As you can imagine, I’ve come across a lot of doctors and nurses over the years, and I can spot the good ones at 50 paces. Martinho is not just good, he is exceptional.
“He is so lovely and calming, and very thorough in everything he does. It’s so nice to have someone that I can talk to and feel comfortable with. He really is very special.” she said.