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Dave’s story

Shared by Dave’s wife, Sarah.

My gorgeous, kind and funny husband Dave only lived for ten weeks after being diagnosed with metastatic colon cancer, which spread to his liver just before Christmas 2022. Dave had retired just ten days before we received this devastating news. We were so happy together and have two great kids, aged 19 and 21.

The whole thing was such a shock to our family – Dave’s liver was failing and six attempts to insert stents had failed. We were told he had a few days at best, and he was transferred to Sobell House on 6 February 2023.

The staff at Sobell House were just fantastic, and their care, expertise, kindness and compassion got us through the next few days. And, as it turned out, the next few weeks. Two days in, instead of dying, Dave started to show signs of improvement. It seemed like the stent was finally working! We got quite excited that maybe he could start treatment, even go home. Sobell House doctors supported us all the way, explaining that Dave was now too weak and treatment would not be possible, so we stayed at Sobell House.

Dave was looked after so incredibly well. He loved chatting to the staff, who were kind and patient, helping him with a daily wash and making sure he always felt clean. Dave had ice cream for breakfast, honey yoghurt for lunch and whatever hot dessert was on the menu for dinner! We were given the opportunity to simply concentrate on spending time together as a family. Those last weeks of his life gave us time to say everything we needed to say and even sort out some practical and financial things that have really helped me since his death.

Being on the ward meant I often spoke to other relatives visiting their loved ones, and spending this time together was a great support for me. I met so many lovely people and we shared an immediate bond as we were all in similar situations. I often think about the people I met. They really helped me and I hope in a small way that I helped them too.

Pictured: Dave and Sarah
Pictured: Dave with his children
Pictured: Dave

Dave didn’t want to die, but Sobell House and the amazing people who work there allowed him to die as he lived, with great dignity and surrounded by love. He was calm, relaxed and pain-free, and I was with him holding his hand just as he wanted on 5 March, the date he died.

Dave was passionate about supporting Sobell House and helping others receive the same care he did. Since his funeral, we have raised over £5,000 through donations from family, friends and work colleagues. Dave would have been absolutely thrilled about that. He called the staff at Sobell House ‘the A Team’. He was spot on. Thank you does not even touch the surface.

Thank you so much to Sarah for kindly sharing her family’s experience of Sobell House.

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