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Linda & Lisette's Story

Linda and Lisette turned to Thames Hospice after their dad, David, decided he could no longer endure hospital treatment for his cancer. We were able to support David in his home, so that he could be surrounded by his family in his last days. Linda and Lisette share their story.

Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019

"Our Dad David was a very active family man. He loved the outdoors and nature, he rode horses and played tennis until he was 92. He believed in hard work, but as a means to help you do the things that brought you happiness.

"He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2016 and eventually this spread into his bones. Dad endured 6 months in and out of hospital, but finally he said he’d had enough of all the poking and prodding. We told him that this meant hospice care, and he was open to that. He told us he’d had a good life and that he was ready to go.

"From the moment we met the Doctor from Thames Hospice we felt supported, the Hospice team was completely available to us. The Doctor was able to ask Dad the questions that we didn’t feel able to. She asked in a way that was upbeat and lively but not in denial of his situation.

"Dad always loved a straight talker and warmed to her immediately. Through that initial meeting, Dad’s wishes were made very clear to all of us. His biggest concern was being in pain, he wanted to die at home and if the time came and he couldn’t consent, he absolutely did not want, as he put it: 'everything thrown at me to keep me alive.'

"Dad was still quite active, he was weak but ok, then one day he deteriorated rapidly and Thames Hospice told us, 'from now on he shouldn’t be moved from his own home'."

"Thames Hospice staff arranged for a hospital bed to be brought to our home. Anytime there were any concerns the nurses would come to us. They were amazing.

"We set the room up downstairs with a chair looking out over the garden, and we made it our base. Our Mum, both of our husbands and our five children came. Everybody came together to be with Dad. Having Thames Hospice nurses by our side was empowering

"They were so sensitive. We always felt we had the confidence to be with Dad. We knew they would be there if we needed them, not hovering around but always available.

"When Dad couldn’t feel his legs, the nurse explained that this was normal and went on to outline what would happen over the coming days - the first thing would be his legs, then he wouldn’t be able to eat or drink then his breathing would go. Having a clear understanding was helpful to us. It helped us lead the way with our family.

"Being in his own home surrounded by his loved ones was a gift and Thames Hospice held us all through that. With their support, Dad was able to live before he died. They enabled us to just surround him until the end.

"He was aware of what was happening the whole way through and was completely in control.

"He was able to put his affairs in order and relax.

"On his last day, Dad slept on the sofa in the lounge and that is where he died, very peacefully. Thames Hospice has made an incredible difference to our lives, and to the lives of our children. Because of them we have all seen that the end of someone’s life can be a beautiful experience."

Make a difference

Our services are free of charge to all those in our community who need vital hospice care but this is only made possible through the charitable support and generosity of our amazing community. We need to raise £38,363 each day to fund our services 365 days a year to the people who need us most.

We’ve never needed you, our wonderful supporters, more than we need you today. Please donate what you can to help keep hospice care available for those in desperate need.

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Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019

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