Life looks real rosy for battling Patricia

Florist Patricia Purvis in her new premises on Wynyard Road.
Florist Patricia Purvis in her new premises on Wynyard Road.

A FLORIST has expanded her business - and it’s proof that her eight-year fight with multiple sclerosis just won’t get in the way.

Patricia Purvis, 29, has moved into a shop in Wynyard Road in Hartlepool just months after starting her company Floral Whispers in the indoor market hall of the Middleton Grange Shopping Centre.

She told Business Update: “Ever since I started working for myself my health has improved. I am not just sitting around and moping at home. I am out working and I am a lot happier.”

Patricia quit her career in the health service after suffering blurred vision and being diagnosed with MS at 21. But her determined spirit meant she would not let the condition get her down.

She used the time while she was recuperating to consider her options and decided to go for a career change. It led to the formation of Floral Whispers which is going from strength to strength, said Patricia.

She and partner Mark Arnold, 34, part own the business. As well as flowers, the business also has its own app called The Bad Boyfriend Club.

Husbands and boyfriends access it online. Depending on the level of shame they feel, they buy presents from level one if they’ve come home late from the pub, to level four for one last chance to redeem themselves.

The business also runs a Lonely Bouquet scheme where Patricia leaves flowers in randomly chosen areas of the town with a message on for people to take them.

Patricia added: “It is going well. The clientele is building up and we are looking to take on an apprentice next year.”

She praised the “magnificent help” from officials at Hartlepool Enterprise Centre.

Patricia’s battle with MS started eight years ago. Her life was put on hold when she suffered an inflammation of the optic nerve.

She had primary progressive MS, usually diagnosed in people in their forties or fifties. She was treated at the Sunderland Eye Infirmary and given medication, but reacted badly to it and became medicine-free.

Everything was fine until a blood clot two years ago which burst at the back of her right eye. She needed a return visit to Sunderland Eye Infirmary and had eight lots of laser treatment. Now, though, she is fighting back and believes the floristry business is helping her battle.