Reg's Story

Shared by Reg’s wife, Rachel.

I met Reg in 1994 – Reg was a security guard and I worked in a shop as a cleaner. We had a mutual friend and one day she said to me, ‘I know someone who fancies you!’. It turns out that while I was working in the shop, I’d served Reg. He asked me out, cooked me a meal, and after that we were inseparable.

Reg was very social; he loved going down to the pub, watching the football and having a pint with his mates. But at heart, Reg was a family man. Our daughter Autumn was his world and he loved family evenings, with a takeaway and games. 2021 would have been our 25th wedding anniversary.

Sadly, in 2019, Reg became really poorly. He was in the John Radcliffe Hospital for about five weeks when they told us his time was short. I remember a kind nurse from Sobell House came and told us all about the hospice and what to expect. Reg was upset to hear he could be going into a hospice, but the nurse was so lovely and tried to reassure us. The truth is, he was just too unwell to come home, and there was no way I could give him the care he needed.

You know how you have an image in your head about what hospices are like? Sobell House was nothing like I thought it’d be. The minute we walked through the doors, I knew that Sobell House was purely light and love. Reg was there for five weeks initially, and in that time the nurses and staff were just amazing. They built up Reg’s strength, supported him emotionally, and gave him a bit of confidence to do things for himself.

Pictured: Reg, Rachel and their daughter Autumn
Pictured: Sobell House in the sunshine
Pictured: Reg on Christmas day at Sobell House

I’ll never forget the time I went to visit and he was in the bathroom shaving – ‘hey, look!’ – he’d said. It had been such a long time since he’d done that on his own and he was so proud. Autumn and I spent every day with him and it meant a lot to us that we could be by his side.

Sadly, we knew Reg wasn’t going to get better. He was discharged from the inpatient unit just before the pandemic and was able to spend some time at home, but he was admitted into the hospice again in August 2020. We noticed a big change – we couldn’t go into the day room for teas or coffees and sometimes we would have to call to check in with him. My heart breaks for the people who couldn’t be with their loved ones that year. Autumn and I were very blessed to spend a lot of time with Reg before we lost him in October 2020.

Going to Sobell House was the best thing we could have done. It became a home from home for us and nothing was too much trouble for the staff. We were looked after so well and we were grateful for every second that we got to spend with Reg.

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

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