Home is where the heart is

Luke (pictured right) with baby daughter Emilia, mum Lyndy and brother Sam.

Lyndy Sobey from Paignton had been alone in Derriford hospital, Plymouth, when she was given the devastating news that her oesophageal cancer had spread and was incurable. She realised she had little time left. So in a move to help Lyndy and her loved ones to make the most of precious time, Rowcroft’s Hospice at Home team pulled out all the stops to help Lyndy transfer out of hospital and back into the warm embrace of her family home, where she was able to live out her final days with her loved ones by her side. In this moving blog, Lyndy’s son Luke reflects on this incredibly difficult time and how the Hospice at Home team helped the family through it.

“The terrible news about Mum’s cancer was heart-breaking for the whole family and ever so more crushing as we could not be there with Mum due to COVID restrictions. We wanted to get Mum out of hospital as soon as possible so that she could spend her remaining time with her family, but it was so difficult to do this because she was in a vulnerable state and had complex needs. It was Rowcroft who set the wheels in motion, and they told us that their Hospice at Home team could care for Mum at home. This was music to our ears.

“The Hospice at Home team came to the house day and night, staying with Mum to keep her as comfortable as possible, enabling her to spend her final days in the place where she had lived for 40 years – a home full of happy memories. For my Dad, it meant so much to have Mum at home. He could lie next to her on the bed, and we were all there for her too.

“The Rowcroft team were an amazing group of people doing an incredibly difficult job. Dad called them ‘angels in a Rowcroft uniform’! They were so professional, compassionate, knowledgeable and kind, and we had so much confidence in them. They would come in a few times a day, and it was such a relief when they came. They would check that everything was ok and reassure us, and they would answer all our questions. The strength and support that they gave us was invaluable. It meant that we could relax and give 100% to Mum. We didn’t need to worry about Mum’s care, as they took care of that; we could just focus on being able to spend quality time with her. The team helped with pain relief and feeding, and they eventually recommended a syringe driver to administer medicine at a constant rate in order to keep her comfortable and pain-free.

“Just before Mum died, I had been planning to go home for the night as I hadn’t realised she was nearing the end. But the Rowcroft nurse advised me to stay; she knew Mum didn’t have long. If I had gone home, I would never have forgiven myself, and I can never repay Rowcroft for giving me the opportunity to be with Mum when she passed away. In the early hours of the morning, the nurse alerted the rest of the family too, so that we could all be with Mum when she passed away. Dad had his head on the pillow next to Mum.

“While it was so traumatic to say goodbye to Mum, I’m eternally grateful to Rowcroft for giving Mum the opportunity to be at home with the family one last time. And I’ll be forever thankful that she was surrounded by her family when she passed away. There couldn’t be a better way to die.”

Rowcroft has launched the Hospice at Home Appeal to raise vital funds to expand our Hospice at Home service. For more information about the appeal or to make a donation, please see our Hospice at Home web page or telephone: 01803 217450.

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