"You can still be young at heart and get up and have a good time" was the message promoted by exercise nurse specialist Tina Theophilus and members of an exercise group for elderly vascular patients at the Royal Free Hospital, during the first pantomime at their annual Christmas party.
A production of Cinderella written and performed by the patients was the highlight of the Yuletide celebrations. Scriptwriter and narrator, Arthur Dixon, who was inspired to write after a group performance of Snow White last year, also showed off his culinary skills by baking a cake for the event. The grand finale saw the cast perform ‘There’s no business like show business’ complete with revised lyrics.
Compliments were paid to Tina who organised the party. Phyllida Morris-Vincent an ex-member of staff, described her as a ‘heroine’, whilst Sylvia Herberg, who played Prince Charming, added: “Tina’s a fabulous therapist and coach. She’s so sweet and caring and goes out of her way to do things for everybody. We’re not only pupils in a class we’re all warm friends as well.”.
The exercise classes Tina runs are mainly to treat peripheral vascular disease but many of the patients suffer from other problems such as osteoarthritis, painful joints and balancing problems.
Vascular disease causes narrowing of arteries of the legs. Symptoms include pain on exertion and when walking it can cause the sufferer to limp. It is most common in elderly people, although other risk factors include having high cholesterol, smoking and a lack of physical activity.
Notes to editors
1) For further information contact: Aysha Shah, communications assistant, Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust, 020 7317 7590, email@example.com
2) The Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust is renowned for its specialist services including liver, kidney and bone marrow transplantation, renal, AIDS/HIV, infectious diseases, plastic surgery, immunology, paediatric gastroenterology, ENT surgery and audiological medicine, amyloidosis and scleroderma. We run a major accident and emergency service, all branches of surgery and medicine, a renal service serving the whole of north London, paediatrics, maternity services, care of elderly people, an adolescent psychiatric service and one of two high security infectious diseases units in the country. We are a leading haematology centre and a major neuroscience base with a network extending throughout north London and into the Home Counties. We have associated internationally recognised research and training programmes. For more information visit www.royalfree.nhs.uk
We are a member of the academic health science partnership UCL Partners. The Royal Free was the only teaching hospital in London to be rated excellent for services and excellent for use of resources in the 2008 Healthcare Commission annual health check.