“Even at Christmas St Giles were there for us day and night.”
In the Autumn of 2019, Charlie Henley (aged 54) was unexpectedly diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, with secondary cancer in his lymph, liver and spine. From the day he was diagnosed, Charlie and his wife Gill were supported by a St Giles Hospice Community Nurse.
“From day one our St Giles nurse, Shelly, became our turn-to for everything. The support and care we received from her was outstanding.”, said Gill.
Sadly the couple knew that Christmas 2019 would be their last Christmas together and wanted to make it as memorable as possible.
“Thanks to the wonderful care from our St Giles nurse, we were able to spend our last Christmas together at home.”
“Even at Christmas St Giles were there for us day and night – it gave us such peace of mind and knowing that we had that support to call on if we needed it allowed us to relax and enjoy Christmas as much as we could, creating memories I’ll always cherish.
“Shelly did everything she could to make Charlie as comfortable as possible. She looked after us in a truly personal way, giving us information and helping us with medicine and pain control.
“One of my favourite memories of last Christmas is of Charlie being able to stand up with his frame and put Santa on top of the tree. I’ll never forget how proud he looked!”
In January 2020, Charlie was admitted to the hospice in Whittington. After six days he was able to return home with his pain under control, but just weeks later he was readmitted as the pain had worsened.
“Although we were in a different part of the hospice this time, the team from our first visit came over to see us. We saw the same smiley faces and they remembered us, which was so personal and so lovely.”
Five days after being admitted, Charlie passed away in Gill’s arms.
“The hospice is a lovely place. I stayed there all the time with Charlie and they really looked after me as well. I could get meals there so I didn’t have to leave his side. Time was so precious – we knew it was running out and I didn’t want to be away from Charlie for a moment. At St Giles there was no limit to the time you could stay there with your loved one, which I really appreciated.”
Gill has been offered support by the St Giles bereavement support team and is still in contact with Charlie’s community nurse.
“Without the care and ongoing support from St Giles, I honestly do not know how I, and the whole family, would have coped.”
“People think that hospices are just places that you go into at the end of life, but St Giles really helped Charlie to be at home for as long as he could, and made him as comfortable as he could possibly be. I will always be grateful to them and encourage everyone to support them as much as they can.”
By playing our raffle, you are helping us to continue to be there for local people like Gill, Charlie and their family, when they need us.
Your support matters. Thank you.