Brian Porter

Joined 1967

East Ham Ambulance Cadet Division, London

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A faded photograph with a white Nursing Cadet on the left wearing a grey knee length dress with a white collar belted at the waist. The dress has a pocket on the chest with a black badge bearing St John’s 8 pointed cross. She is also wearing a white nursing cap towards the back of her head. To the right of the photo is a white male Cadet wearing a black beret
Nursing Cadet Sylvia Porter and Cadet Corporal Brian Porter at an East Ham Cadet Open Evening, 1968 Image courtesy of Brian L. Porter
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I think the training particularly on the nursing side and the caring for the sick side was invaluable. To the extent that I was really disappointed when home nursing and care disappeared as a mainstream subject. And a lot of that was to do with I suppose people to rewrite the old Caring for the Sick manual, and the desire at the time to go to NVQ qualifications that never really worked. The effect it had on me in later life was my wife developed cancer. And it was horrendous three years with head and neck cancer, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, three operations, and ended up where she actually couldn’t talk. They removed the voice box completely. And I think that training enabled me to care for her better than I would have done without it. Particularly when it came to control of medications because there was an awful lot of medications three times a day, and she was on a tube feed, as well, for food. So, I think without that initial support and having that knowledge, it would have been far harder. In fact, my wife was one of the few people in London District that actually got to the Caring for the Sick level three stage, so she was always keen on care as well, but certainly it helped me.

Excerpt courtesy of Brian L. Porter