“Florence Nightingale Hospice gave my dad a ‘nice’ death”.

Bob standing in front of a stock racing car.
In 2019 Bob was diagnosed with polyps on his bowel, he had a number of colonoscopies and was monitored in the early stages, however he didn’t fit the criteria for them to be removed. Bob was told it wasn’t a cause for concern and they didn’t require any further monitoring.
 
 
He was taken to hospital with a suspected chest infection in January 2023 at the age of 80. He was very unwell, and tests revealed that he had a large tumour in his bowel. The polyps had increased in size and were blocking his bowel. There was fluid on his lungs causing him to cough and vomit, as the fluid could no longer pass. The family was told that he needed palliative care.
 
Bob was only in hospital for one night, then he was fortunate enough to get a bed in Florence Nightingale Hospice. Bob’s daughter Hayley told us “The care was so amazing, it took such a weight and pressure off us, and it meant that dad had a ‘nice’ death three weeks later.”
 
 
Hayley recalled “Dad’s speech was slurred (following on from a stroke some years ago), he relied on us to speak for him. The Hospice team made him feel like he was part of the conversation and included in all decisions. When you are at the end of your life, you feel like everything is out of your control, but he was able to maintain his dignity throughout.”
 
The family wanted to come together to visit Bob, however as a large family, they were unsure if this would be possible, but the Hospice team made it happen, freeing up a room for them to gather and spend time with him.
 
 
Talking about the care Bob received, Hayley told us “We were blown away by the care Lily, a new nurse on the unit, gave to dad. She spent a lot of time with him looking at pictures and talking about his stock car racing days and listening to Elvis – dad’s favourite. As he declined, dad felt scared and wanted mum and I to stay with him, so the Hospice staff allowed us to stay overnight, in a reclining chair either side of him and we could hold his hand to comfort him”.
 
 
After Bob had died, our Bereavement Listening team were able to offer the family support. Hayley completed hers at the Hospice itself as it made her feel close to him. Shane from the Bereavement Listening team was able to offer tailored support to Hayley on how to talk about death with her young children. Her youngest daughter received Listening support at school, giving her a safe space to open-up and talk about how she was feeling.
 
 
Reflecting on the relationship between her dad and his grandchildren, Hayley told us “Dad was ‘Pop Pops’ to his many grandchildren, they loved him dearly and they helped him to find his slippers when they went missing. He always had sweets and treats, and they knew if they sat with him that he’d share with them.”
 
 
Reflecting on the care her dad received, Hayley commented “the Hospice is such a peaceful place with an incredible garden for patients and families to get some much-needed fresh air, they have wonderful individual rooms for patients where they can be close to their family, and staff who can give so much time to patients and their families.
 
 
I think the time they give is the main difference between Hospice and hospital care and this really meant so much to dad and our whole family. Thank you just isn’t enough.”
 
 
Find out more about bowel cancer at: https://www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk/
 
 
 

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