Rosemary's Story

As well as caring for our patients, we also support their relatives and carers, because we understand that living with an advanced or terminal illness affects the whole family.

When her husband Rob was referred to our services, Rosemary found great comfort in the care that we also offered to her and their children. She saw one of our trained Counsellors, who visited her at home, and found this support invaluable.

“The counselling was wonderful,” said Rosemary. “I had fantastic Counsellors. They came out to me once a week to see how I was coping. They would ask me how I was feeling, and if there was anything I wanted to talk about.”

Rob used to come to our Living Well sessions at the Hospice, which he would attend once a week. A keen artist, he also came along to our art therapy sessions, which are held on Mondays in the Hospice’s Dove Lounge. While he was there, Rosemary was able to have some time to herself, knowing that he was safe and being cared for.

“Phyllis Tuckwell’s volunteer drivers took Rob to the Hospice, and he got such a lot out of it,” said Rosemary. “It was extremely important to him as he was doing something he enjoyed, and while he was there I got respite time, which was important to me. It’s a marvellous place.”

Throughout the time that Rob was cared for by Phyllis Tuckwell, both he and Rosemary were involved in discussing the services that were available to them.

“Everybody came to us – the Doctor from Phyllis Tuckwell, Rob’s GP and his carers too, to discuss what services we could be offered. They asked how I felt, as well as how Rob felt.”

As Rob’s illness progressed, he spent some time on our In-Patient Unit (IPU), where he was given round-the-clock support from our Nurses and Doctors, helping to manage his symptoms and bring them under control. With Rob being cared for on the IPU, Rosemary could take a break from looking after him.

“When he went to the IPU to stay, that gave me that little bit of a break. While he was there I found it difficult at night though, and some nights I would wake up and call the IPU to see how he was. They were so kind and helpful; they were happy to talk to me and settle me down.”

Rob spent his last days on our IPU. “He was in a room with doors to the garden, so you could go straight outside. There was a sofa bed in his room too, so we could stay with him overnight if we wanted to. It was so lovely and comforting, not just for him but for all of us. They supported our sons too. Anthony found it hard to go into the room with his dad in it, and they understood that. It’s such a valuable service that they give. Rob died on 14th February, St Valentine’s Day. I had to say to him ‘Rob it’s time to go’, because he wouldn’t let go, he wanted to be there for me. It’s not easy to put on a brave front, but it’s so helpful when you’ve got people around you. Phyllis Tuckwell doesn’t just deal with patients but with the whole family; they helped me as well as Rob.”

Everyday we need to raise over £25,000 to provide our services free of charge to our patients and their families. Please make a donation today to support the important work of Phyllis Tuckwell.