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Moments shared

Patients, family and supporters share their experiences of our care and their support


Jennifer Mullucks

21 December 2014

Jennifer is a wonderful ambassador for the charity and recently, very bravely, shared her experience of the care available for her husband Jonny with over 1,100 guests at the Festival of Carols event hosted at Ely Cathedral.

Jennifer shares her touching story and the loss of her husband, Jonny, below:

Whilst Jonny was receiving care at Arthur Rank Hospice, I learnt so much about what the hospice does and was blown away by their input and particularly in the ways they give support to patients and their family. I never knew how many different departments needed to operate to make one night in the hospice bearable for my husband and myself.

I was and still am in awe how their team will work out of hours and attend many different events and meetings, not just because the job requires it but also because they are passionate about delivering excellent care. I have seen first-hand how it can change people’s lives.

Losing your husband is so very difficult, and I found myself in a situation where I needed to be there for my husband whilst also caring for our little baby. Jonny passed away just four days before our son’s first birthday. It was so comforting to have the support and care offered by the hospice. The staff helped me to deal with the grief and my loss on many levels. It truly did, and has made life more bearable and that is something I will eternally be grateful for.

Sadly we will all almost certainly be touched by illness in our lives one way or another but it is not until you are in this situation that you can really understand the frustration, anger, love, warmth and sadness which you will feel. The hospice provides the patient and their family with the kind of care and support which is so important when it is most crucial.

Jonny was just 31 when he sadly passed away so it is not ’just’ old people, who are cared for at the hospice. The hospice cares for people with cancer but with other life limited illnesses too. We chose for Jonny to be cared for at the hospice but we also had the option of Hospice at Home. Patients have a choice where to be nursed and not just in the last days either. The hospice has a fantastic day therapy centre that can help people who may have many years left to live yet, but just need a distraction or to talk to another person who can understand, offer support and provide family members a much needed and deserved day off. The team at the hospice offer advice, support, counselling, palliative and pastoral care and much more...

When I think back to the time we spent in the hospice, I have one particular fond memory. I recall the nurses who giving my father in law and I a bottle of wine late one evening. We wanted to be close to Jonny and we chatted in the hope that Jonny could hear us, hear familiar voices and feel comforted.

I remember how each evening a nurse would help me wheel a spare bed into Jonnys room so that I could be comfortable and sleep next to him. The nurses cared for Jonny with dignity helping me wash and attend to Jonny whilst we continue to talk to him even though he was slipping away.

I recall the volunteers coming in for a chat and making sure I drank and ate, whilst it was the last thing on my mind, it was wonderful to have these people around me.

I remember the patience and cooperation of the doctors when I challenged what we could do for Jonny even though he had days left to live and most poignantly, I remember everyone making a fuss of our little baby boy so that I had a moment of sanity and normality.

They gave my husband and my family dignity, compassion, care, support, understanding, a listening ear, medical advice and the truth. They gave everything the patient or the family members need to deal with the last stages of life.

The care end there though. After Jonny had passed away, the staff ensured that I was giving great mental and physical support. I truly don’t know how I would have coped without my counsellor (a volunteer may I add) and the wonderful homeopathic care I received which helped me to start my journey through the grieving/healing process. It was a true life saver.

Most of us would not have had any experience with dealing with a hospice and the first thought that generally come to mind is ’a place where you die’. It could be deemed quite a sad and depressing place which probably makes you want to run a mile! So when we sadly found ourselves, at a relatively young age, being taken into the hospice it was a great surprise that it was 100% the opposite to what I had thought it would be.

Probably my biggest surprise was the fact that my husband was still treated like a human being, was cared for and that myself and the family was supported so much. They actually ’cared’ how Jonny was doing. They treated him with dignity, understood our needs, were human in their approach and generally made the best of the worst situation we could have ever imagined to find ourselves in.





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