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Hospice Stories

Toby’s Story: Those final moments with my Dad

By April 17, 2023April 26th, 2023No Comments

“Thanks to the exceptional care provided by the hospice
nurses, I was able to cherish those final moments with my Dad.”

Dad always put us first. He was a wonderful and highly educated man who had enjoyed a great career – although there were lots of offers to take high-paying jobs around the world he always declined as he had one utterly selfless but incredibly important rule; his wife, children and family came first. He never once made a decision to further his own career at our expense. Our happiness and idyllic family life, on a little farm in Sussex, was simply everything he wanted.

His cancer journey lasted 14 years. At first, it was prostate cancer, which he managed to cope with, but then, it spread into his bones, and so began the last four years of his life, trying to manage an increasingly debilitating and painful condition.

The Hospice was a vital part of those last years. At first, he would just go there for the day, to meet and share experiences with others going through the same thing. As the cancer deepened, Mum began to take him more regularly.

The nurses were amazing. They held both their hands, as it were.

For Dad, it was the support with pain relief that was most important. They’re the most skilled people in pain management and they managed to find exactly the right spot where the pain was. They’d fuss over him, rub his back and feet (which he found very soothing) and there was always laughter and giggling (mostly Dad).

For Mum, they were a constant friend, there to guide her through what was going on with Dad – and to help fill out the many long and confusing forms needed to get essential carer’s support.

Dad was determined to die at home – and it was the hospice nurses who worked to create a care plan to allow him to end his days there, supporting him to die in peace and with dignity.

The nurses’ work is simply incredible. They cannot ‘save’ the patient; but I can tell you, they can save the family.

The moments we have with our most precious loved ones become permanent memories, almost like photos, lodged forever in our minds. My final ‘photos’ are of my beloved father happy and comfortable in his bed, surrounded by his family. It’s an enormous comfort to know that he had the very best care, right through to the end. Not to have had them at our side … unimaginable.

I’m supporting the Hospice’s Sponsor A Nurse campaign because I have seen for myself the value of the care these incredibly kind, talented and experienced
professionals provide in our community. Everyone we know, all those we truly, madly, deeply love will reach the end of their days.

Supporting these nurses today therefore is the most precious investment in our own friends and family for tomorrow.

I would urge you to join me in celebrating their care, giving support that allows them to be there for us and our loved ones in the future.