Every year hundreds of patients are cared for at Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice.
Some spend their final days in the inpatient unit. For other patients the Thorpe Hall team use their expertise to stabilise their condition so they can continue with their life.
Terry Lonergan spent a spell at the hospice, and eventually chose to die there. When treatment failed to halt the progression of his bone marrow cancer and his pain levels became unbearable, his medical team suggested he spend a week in Thorpe Hall Hospice where doctors could concentrate on controlling his symptoms.
His wife Julie said: “When we arrived we felt at home straight away. The nurses were wonderful – at Thorpe Hall it isn’t just about the patient, it’s about the whole family. Terry was relieved because if the pain hit hard he knew there was help at hand. He was in the right place.”
Terry was able to return home to spend time with Julie, their two sons and one daughter. He returned to Thorpe Hall again and chose to spend his final days at the hospice.
“He was in a very bad state and didn’t want me and the kids to have to deal with that at home,” said Julie. “I was with him when he passed away. The staff were amazing. They just took care of everything.”
Thorpe Hall’s help doesn’t end with providing care to the patient. As Julie said, those close to the patient are supported too.
Terry’s daughter Amy, now eight, benefitted from Thorpe Hall’s Charlie Chimp Club – a specialist bereavement support group for youngsters, led by trained volunteers. And the family has continued to be involved with Thorpe Hall since Terry’s death three years ago.
Amy has a booming business selling loom band creations and has donated more than £1,200 she has raised to Thorpe Hall.
Julie said: “We are so lucky to have the facility in this area. Thorpe Hall is absolutely invaluable and I can’t imagine how my family and I would have coped without their help.”
That personal support is vital to Thorpe Hall. It costs £2.8 million a year to provide incredible care across all of Thorpe Hall’s services – at the hospice and in the community through Thorpe Hall Hospice at Home, specialist nurses and family support. £1.5 million of that has to be fundraised through donations, events, gifts in will and activities undertaken by supporters and businesses.