In June 2017 John’s wife Rosemary died with the immediate family around her. John wanted to share his experience of the support and care that they received, to make sure the local community continues to support their local hospice.
“My wife Rosemary (who was aged 66) and I returned from a lovely holiday on the Isles of Scilly in September 2016. We had a truly wonderful time, doing what we enjoy, walking and bird-watching, and to top it all, seeing red squirrels on Tresco.
Soon after getting home, my wife was getting breathless walking – this was sudden and unusual as we were both good walkers. We went to visit relatives in Devon in October and she was getting much more breathless and putting on weight. When we came home she visited the Doctor who examined her and took blood samples – 4 days later we were called to the surgery to be told that Rosemary’s ca125 levels were high – they were sure she had cancer. It was an unbelievable shock. The healthcare team were good and did numerous tests, scans and so on – the bottom line was that she had cancer in the bowel, liver and peritoneum with fluid in her abdomen.
She went into hospital shortly after Christmas, it was a most terrible and frightening time as anyone could imagine – she had drains and all the various things that go with it. She became very unwell after chemotherapy and couldn’t have more, so we knew time was short – she was so calm, brave and stoical.
Then in March she was admitted to Rowans, and we could not believe the difference in her care – it was instantly noticeable. The nursing staff were so caring, they spent time with you, and an air of calm prevailed. Everyone was friendly, genuinely helpful, bringing tea, tidying the flowers in her room, keeping the gardens looking first class; even bird tables outside of each window had the seeds topped up daily, ensuring a variety of bird activity.
The medical staff were perfect, no detail too small to be discussed, dosages of medication adjusted to suit the ever-changing situation, one felt in really safe and caring hands. I spent as much time with my wife as possible and at whatever hour we had to call them, the nurses came and administered and adjusted whatever they had to, nothing too small to be dealt with, to ease Rosemary’s ever worsening situation. The care was always the same – calm, compassionate, patient and reassuring.
The whole atmosphere and attitude was open and friendly, one felt as though you were amongst friends and a positive and reassuring ethos prevailed throughout. The Spiritual Care Chaplain was always available and was of immense help too. Our 4 little grandchildren visited most days, they too were welcomed and were always at ease.
Rosemary finally passed away in June 2017, with the immediate family around her. She was a lovely gentle, warm person; her stoicism and strength was unbelievable. I am totally heartbroken and miss her terribly.
My family and I are so grateful to the brilliant staff and volunteers who together make up the Rowans for their expertise and caring professionalism”.
It is a very special place, we must look after it and be aware of the wonderful work they do. A huge thankyou to each and every one.
Please support your local hospice and pledge to do one thing for Rowans Silver Jubilee Appeal