Our Hospice@Home team helps Mike say "I do".
Hospice@Home has grown immensely over the past 18 months, seeing a 30% increase in overall service provision, in addition to demonstrating an extension in reach across our community.
Over the course of the pandemic, the team has supported over 1,000 patients and their families to achieve the most amazing things.
A recent example, that moved the whole team, was the coordination of a wedding for a couple who had been in a partnership for over 18 years but wanted to marry, which they did only days before the moment of death.
Ally Skelton, Outreach Matron said: “This took tremendous courage and energy from the patient and a real committed approach from the staff, but we gathered all our resources to support his dying wish and feel privileged we were able to make this happen.”
Mike married his long term Spanish boyfriend, Manuel, with his family present. The ceremony took place at home and was attended by family. Our team helped Mike prepare for the big day by helping him with his suit and ensuring he was freshly shaved and ready to say “I do”.
Sadly, Mike died shortly after the wedding.
As he was coming to end of life, Manuel, was getting very upset because he was finding it difficult to understand what was happening. This is where our healthcare assistant, Paloma Sanchez Barbero, stepped in.
Paloma was on duty on the in-patient unit when she was asked by Hospice@Home to go along with them to Mike’s home, to provide much needed support.
She said: “Manuel was feeling very frustrated and lonely because of not really understanding the language and also the differences in cultures. His mum also died from cancer when he was 10 years old, so he was not coping well. I was able to listen to him, explain what was happening and support him. I was really happy to help and work with Debbie and Laura on the Hospice@Home team to support Mike with a peaceful death.”