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Tahir’s Story

After being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2006 Tahir Ali was able to live well for many years, but in 2021 was twice hospitalised with pneumonia. In August 2021 he was transferred to Thames Hospice to help manage his pain and build up strength and it was a move that changed everything – both for Tahir and his loved ones, including his son Amir.

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

Tahir Ali, 81, was born in Rampur, India, before coming to the UK in 1962, and settling in Slough. An only child, his own father died before he was born and he was raised by his mother Aziza, to whom he was very close. Tahir met and married his wife Irfana upon visiting Pakistan in 1967, and together they raised three sons, Muhammad, Amir and Shariq. A highly successful businessman, Tahir studied engineering but worked in many different industries, including running a freight company, before he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. Having carried on pretty much as normal for a decade, Tahir underwent a triple heart bypass in 2016 which triggered a deterioration in his motor skills. He was admitted to hospital in February and then July 2021 with pneumonia, and it was here that Tahir – a proud grandfather-of-five - and his family were told about Thames Hospice. He went on to be supported on the Hospice’s Inpatient Unit for a while, before being discharged home where he is cared for by the community nursing team. Here Tahir’s son Amir explains why their family will never forget the outstanding care they’ve received.

Amir, 51, says:My father means everything to me. From a young age I’ve always looked up to him and been proud to call him Dad. That’s why when he became seriously ill, having been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, our family could not have coped without the care and compassion of the incredible Thames Hospice team. The support they have provided the family with has been truly overwhelming. Thames Hospice doesn’t just offer comfort and care but a real feeling of welcome. The Hospice has been an inspiration – the team has taught us a lot.

“We didn’t know much about hospice care before Dad was moved from our local hospital to Thames Hospice in August 2021. We knew about the charity’s shops and Dad’s aunt, Fehmida Begum, has accessed day therapy sessions at the Hospice when she had cancer, but we really didn’t know what to expect. When Dad was in hospital we were told he could have just days to live, and they suggested palliative care. He was transferred to the Hospice with the plan being to build up his strength so he could be cared for at home. Over that whole period of his stay at the Hospice, the care provided was exceptional. It’s a calm, welcoming place that feels like home and the care it provides is for everyone.

“The staff take a step back and look carefully at each individual situation. They take the time to learn why every single person is there and will always do whatever they can to help. The Hospice team don’t have the word ‘no’ in them. All the nursing staff and volunteers are amazing. From the receptionists to the catering staff, everyone always has time and a kind word for you and it means so much.

“Dad’s room had a view looking out to Bray Lake, which was breath-taking. He’s on 27 different types of medication a day that all have to be taken at certain times, and the Hospice managed all of that. He had daily physiotherapy, and staff were always on hand to chat to. Little things like the chef doing a piece of grilled fish specially for Dad or cooking his vegetables so they were a little softer for him, made such a big difference to him – and us. We never felt alone at Thames Hospice.”

Thames Hospice was also able to provide practical and emotional support to his wife Irfana as his main carer, as well as care for the whole family. Tahir has described the Hospice as his ‘angel home’, but the team also recognises how essential it is to provide care for extended family at a very difficult time. Thames Hospice understands that a life-changing diagnosis affects many more people than the patient.

Amir says: Thames Hospice is a place where everyone is welcome and our whole family has been supported by the team. As well as Dad, my mum Irfana also had complementary therapy and the grandchildren loved using the Hospice’s family room. They completely took the stress off Mum who as Dad’s main carer had always been by his side. It meant she could sleep at night.

“The staff and volunteers were always talking to Dad, making sure he was comfortable, but as his loved ones being able to talk about our experiences as well really helped.”

When the time came for Tahir to return home, the Hospice was instrumental in putting in place a care package that meant he’d be well looked after at home.

Amir adds: Now Dad is back at home we are managing his daily medications, but crucially with support. We can call the Hospice’s 24/7 advice line if we need to, and the Response Team will also come out if there’s any changes with his symptoms or issues with pain management.

“If Thames Hospice hadn’t been there for our family I’m not sure Dad would be here now. As my mum says, the staff are so patient and bubbly, and always have a smile for you. We’ll never forget the kindness and care that we’ve received. The Hospice hasn’t just cared for Dad but the whole family.”

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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