When Pam’s husband, Dave, spent his last few months at the hospice in 2007, Woking hospice was already fast becoming the heart of the community, and an integral provider of palliative care in Woking. Pam has never lost her link with them and still volunteers and raises funds to this day. She recalls the help both herself and her husband received and explains how she has followed the Hospices’ journey over the years:
“My husband was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in 2003. He went to the doctors thinking he had tennis elbow and after a series of tests they had eliminated all other possibilities except MND.
We didn’t really know much about the Hospice; I always associated it with cancer, until our District Nurse referred us to them. They were so helpful in every aspect of Dave’s care. For example, in our home, Hospice Occupational Therapists showed us how to set up our house to care for Dave and what equipment we needed to borrow like beds and hoists and where to buy a through floor wheelchair lift. They also helped us source the varying wheelchairs needed as the disease progressed. Whilst Dave was still mobile, we planned an around-the-world trip to visit his best friend in New Zealand at Christmas and be in Sydney, Australia for New Year via Vancouver, Fiji, and finally Singapore. We were away 5 weeks and the Hospice Occupational Therapists were absolutely superb in advising us on everything we would need to take with us and helped source it. We had 2 suitcases of clothes and 10 of equipment!
In the Hospice, Dave actively attended the Day Care. Whilst he was there, and I knew he was being looked after, I was then able to go and see Susie, the counsellor. I had regular sessions with her both before and after Dave passed away. I am a member of the bereavement group even to this day and it helps me to cope with him not being there.
We would have been lost without the Hospice, and what is more, throughout the whole time we did not put our hands in our pockets once. That was one of the biggest reassurances because it meant we could concentrate on making Dave’s last years the happiest they could be, without needing to worry about the cost of his end-of-life care.
I feel I owe them so much and both Dave and I have left a legacy to the Hospices and I have done a number of fundraising events for them. However I also give my time to them. At the moment I help once a month at a meet-up especially for people with Motor Neurone Disease and their carers. The Hospice helped me so much and I would urge people to support them either financially or with your time, which is equally as important. ”
Thanks to Pam for her story and her image. In the photo is Pam and her late husband Dave, and their two children.