A Harborough osteopath handed out thousands of pounds worth of vital help to seriously-stricken patients during the Covid-19 lockdown – for free.
Emily Coombes, 33, couldn’t be hands on practically as the tough coronavirus crackdown was launched on Monday March 23.
So the compassionate mum-of-two quickly got hands on virtually as she gave men, women and children wracked by terrible pain crucial help and support remotely.
Emily, of Gartree, near Market Harborough, told the Harborough Mail: “I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
“I certainly don’t see myself as some sort of Mother Teresa!
“I simply did my best for my brilliant patients – many of whom have been very loyal to me for years.”
The highly-qualified osteopath added: “I guess that I would have charged thousands of pounds for all the work that I did during lockdown.
“But I wouldn’t have been able to sleep on a night if I had made people pay as normal.
“I am not money driven.
“I obviously wasn’t able to give patients the usual hands-on treatment physically.
“And many of these people were fearing for their jobs and their entire futures.
“But the virus lockdown didn’t stop them suffering hideous, life-changing pain day in day out.
“It was tough because I didn’t get that much Government support.
“But I wouldn’t have felt comfortable asking for my usual fees – and I’m governed by my ethics.
“I wouldn’t have been able to live with myself if I had carried on charging patients as if nothing had changed.”
Emily said she qualified 11 years ago and worked in Leicester before launching her own operation at Kibworth Medical Centre two and a half years ago.
“I had to leave there when the lockdown was imposed at the end of March.
“So I moved straight on to the remote Telehealth health care service,” said Emily, who has children aged seven and nine and a 17-year-old stepson.
“I did minimum 30-minute consultations and appointments with patients every single day.
“I’ve built up over 100 patients over the years so I have never been so busy – as well as home schooling my children!
“I helped people suddenly working from home amid the coronavirus with their postures because that’s critical.
“I also filmed special exercise and stretching classes which I put out on social media.
“I did a two-minute desk stretch video – although I’m not as crazy as Joe Wicks!
“I also teach Pilates and I posted classes online too because it’s so important for all-round fitness, flexibility, recovery and rehab.
“It’s been such an awful time for everybody.
“It was very hard for people used to seeing me to treat them and ease their pain to suddenly be cut off.”
Normally charging new patients £38 for an hour, £30 for a paediatrics session and £12 for a Pilates class, she’s now opened an exciting new chapter in her blossoming career.
“I moved into a superb new unit at The Manor business complex in Tur Langton at the end of May.
“I’m loving it there.
“The other businesses have been so welcoming and friendly and it’s fantastic to see people face to face again,” said Emily.
“I wear the full PPE equipment so that we look like stormtroopers, we have hand sanitiser and my floor’s so clean you could eat your lunch off it.
“But our patients are delighted to be able to come and actually see me once again.
“We are also expanding.
“Podiatrist Sarah Carr and acupuncturist Kerry Byrne have both joined me so we have a great team.
“We have just picked up where we left off, almost seamlessly, as we head into the autumn.
“I am also interviewing another osteopath on Thursday August 20 who may come and join us so we really are going from strength to strength.”
Her husband Damien, 39, a general property maintenance man, is now building a second treatment room for Emily as word spreads fast.
“Everything is dropping right into place – we’ve been lucky.
“People come from all over the area and it’s so brave of people to reach out and ask us for help,” said Emily.
“It takes raw courage to trust us with looking after their bodies – it doesn’t get any more personal than that.
“Osteopaths look at people’s musculoskeletal system as a whole.
“We understand that the physical structure of the body is related to the function of the body.
“We take a holistic, literally hands-on approach.
“And I’d like to point out that osteopaths are all properly qualified.
“We have to take a demanding four-year degree, we are strictly regulated and insured.
“We are not tree-hugging hippies.
“We are highly-trained health professionals,” insisted Emily.
“So please come and see us if you are in pain and need help urgently – don’t suffer in silence.”
Saluting Emily, one of her Harborough woman patients told the Mail: “During this challenging time Emily has put patient welfare before everything else because she was so concerned about the likes of me and others that use her service to manage pain and discomfort.
“This has been a real lifeline - especially since I have been working at home and my posture at my makeshift desk left a lot to be desired!
“Emily has been nothing but supportive regarding my new temporary office environment.
“She was able to offer plenty of small improvements to help make the most of the set-up I had available.”
She added: “I really want to highlight Emily as someone who has gone the extra mile - and continued to support and work with local Harborough people right throughout the crisis.”
If you would like to contact Emily you will find her at:
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/kibworthosteo/
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/explore/locations/306070729557985/united-kingdom/leicester-united-kingdom/emily-coombes-kibworth-osteopaths/?hl=en
Website - www.kibworthosteopaths.co.uk
Sarah (the podiatrist) is http://www.shirespodiatry.co.uk