Outside Looking In: Katie Smedley

So following straight on from Katie’s confessions we know get to see her fiance point of view, so without further ado, please enjoy Aaron’s story

Aaron Walker

I’m Aaron Walker, I’m a Manchester born and raised drummer who fell in love with a Welsh girl called Katie.

I have studied in Manchester Uni, had various jobs in Manchester and in Wales and been in a band for a few years, but at the minute I am a carer at a local old people’s home. Ever since meeting Katie, I have been in awe at how much light she brings to people’s lives, no matter how she feels and what she’s been through.

She has a rare illness called Anti NMDA Receptor Encephalitis as well as a heart murmur and leaking heart valve but yet she is still able to brighten mine and other people’s days no matter how much pain she is in.

We have been together for almost 5 years and living together for nearly 3 of those years. 2 years ago I asked her to marry me, and this year we will become husband and wife.

What is your relationship with the individual who suffers with a chronic illness/es?

I’m Aaron, Katie (from Katie’s world’s) fiancé. 

Did you know them before or after they were diagnosed?

I got to know Katie after her being diagnosed.

In your opinion, what changed in your relationship after the diagnosis / as the condition progressed?

Nothing changed really as I didn’t know her before her diagnosis and have always known her with her illnesses. 

Have you been able to support them with their condition?

YES. I try to support Katie with her condition by helping her come around from seizures, her seizures can happen anywhere and at anytime and mostly with no warning, one minute she is fine and then next she’s on the floor seizing. I also help with the housework, shopping, making food and making sure she has eaten especially on her bad days when I make sure she stays in bed.

Do you find anything about their condition frustrating when you are together?

I find everything about the condition frustrating but the top few major things are the seizures, memory loss and fatigue. Seizures are frustrating because you don’t know when they’re going to happen and there’s nothing you can do to prevent them. Memory loss is frustrating because, especially after seizures; you have to kind of recap everything that’s happened a week or two beforehand. Fatigue is frustrating because she’ll go out for a few hours; then spend the next day or two in bed in pain.  

What do you find difficult to understand about their condition?

I don’t think I find anything difficult to understand about Katie’s condition as I‘ve been there from basically the very start of her diagnosis and have learnt about it with her.

Have you ever had a question you did not feel able to ask them about their condition? If so, what was it?


Had you heard about their conditions before meeting them / them being diagnosed?

Nope, I had not.

What has their condition taught you about life with a chronic illness?

Rest days are important. I am the type of person that needs to be out at least 6/7 days a week, if not I get restless. Since being with Katie I have had to adapt and change that to 3/7 days of the week being out, at best.

What main piece of advice would you give to someone in your position?

You need a lot of patience to understand what is going on with them and you need to learn to adapt to any situation to be able to help them.  


What’s Next?

  • Since I was awfully late  with my  blog post, click here to see my late Confessions of a Spoonie post from Katie Smedley!
  • TOMORROW make sure you head over to Amy’s blog to read her next Outside Looking In post and to catch up on what she has been publishing. Click here. 


Blog you later »


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