In 2001 Gavin and I were arranging our wedding and looking very much forward to September 2002. Sadly my dad was diagnosed for the 3rd time with skin cancer but this time it was terminal. No one knew how long he had left and we didn’t even know if he would make the wedding. We considered changing the dates but everything was already booked. Then my grandma passed away suddenly.
Dad started his chemo but it took its toll on his body and he became very weak. He was hospitalised with rigors as infection took hold as his immunity dropped but he kept going because all he wanted to do was see me married. Mam and me were exhausted because dad was a very proud man and did not want to die in hospital.
The Community nurses put us in touch with Hospice at Home West Cumbria and a member of their Home Nursing Team came out every night and sat in the room with my dad whilst mam tried to get some sleep in the spare room. It was a very emotional time, dad’s life was coming to an end but my life with Gavin was about to begin.
By August, dad was in a wheel chair and on oxygen and syringe drivers soon after. On the 6th September 2002 I married Gavin and one of the Hospice Nurses attended our wedding to care for my dad. Between me and my brother my dad got his final wish and he walked me down the aisle between the two of us. This was the last time he ever walked.
We arrived at the reception but dad was too exhausted to attend so he went to bed and the Hospice Nurse stayed by his side and cared for him. His job was done. We had a wonderful but very emotional day in more ways than one but it would never have been possible without the caring staff from Hospice at Home West Cumbria.
My mam made a donation to Hospice soon after the wedding as we are all eternally grateful for everything they did for my dad and us as a family. Hospice at Home West Cumbria continued to care for my dad and just over 3 weeks from my wedding day he passed away at home with me and my mam at his bed side. My dad got his wish to die at home and this was only possible because of the support and care we received from Hospice at Home West Cumbria.
Jenny Manchester, Daughter.