“When my wife, Eileen, was diagnosed with diverticulitis in October 2018, one of the scans showed a shadow on her pancreas which turned out to be cancer. They were hopeful that they got it early, but the chemotherapy didn’t touch it. As Eileen started to deteriorate we agreed that I’d look after her at home for as long as possible, with care from the district nurses. The big problem as she got worse was managing the pain. Eileen had morphine packs but sometimes she would need boosters and on occasions we had to wait a couple of hours for someone to come out whilst Eileen was in awful pain.
It got to a critical stage when we weren’t comfortable being at home. We both decided that when Eileen needed immediate care on hand that she’d go into the Hospice. The nurse suggested St Gemma’s and Eileen was admitted to the In-Patient Unit there on 16 August 2019. We needed to know she was comfortable, so it was fantastic having that care and compassion immediately when we needed it. St Gemma’s also made it easy for me to be able to stay with her too.
The nurses were amazing. They didn’t just look after Eileen, it was about us as a family. Our granddaughter was only 11 months old and we were all able to spend time together. Even though it was only five days, it made it easier for all of us – even down to being able to bring the dog in. You don’t know what to expect but they made everybody feel so comfortable.
It gave us peace of mind and the reassurance that Eileen would be looked after. If she needed anything she could get it straight away. She was in and out of consciousness but able to talk occasionally. Eileen wanted to write down her feelings, but she was very weak so one of the nurses sat with her to try and help her to do it.
I support St Gemma’s because, apart from the fact that the treatment and care we got was fantastic, it’s a local charity for people in Leeds and the surrounding areas. Many people will know someone who has had to rely on St Gemma’s care.”