I am Joanne and Lee was my partner of a year. We were going to get married and we were in love. Lee was the most important person in my life, we loved and supported each other. During our time together we went to Nottingham for Lees’ brother’s wedding, we did the 10k fun run together, we’ve done a few runs together and it was fun!
Lee was kind, caring, supportive and he used to make me laugh.
Lee lived with his parents til he was 18 then he moved out of his parents house into respite where he started to learn things about living independently like how to cook. He liked living there but as it was respite care he couldn’t stay here for long, he wanted to stay but he had to move. Lee then moved into Supported Living. He lived here with 2 other people who were already living there but felt that he had no choice so he wasn’t happy.
I first met Lee while he was living in the Supported Living home, and he told me that he didn’t feel well supported. The staff didn’t ask Lee what he wanted they made him do things.
The staff in the care home never let me stay over, I am 40 and Lee was 36. We wanted to sleep together and share special moments together but we were never allowed. I felt this was a human rights issue, it felt horrible, the care home had all the power.
The first time that Lee and me slept together was at his brother’s wedding which was in April of this year. It was so lovely, we were free, there were no staff around us telling us what to do, I will always treasure that time.
Last week Lee died suddenly in his bed.
I am devastated, I miss him so much. Lee was the love of my life. That’s why I want to write this blog in memory to Lee.
I want all of you who work in health and social care, to read this blog. In memory to Lee, please learn from this and support us, people with learning disabilities, to have loving relationships which are just like yours. We want to be able to sleep together and have special moments on our own. We want to wake up together and spend all day in bed together if we want.
This blog is dedicated to my love, Lee.