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Ralph’s story

Shared by Ralph’s daughter, Sarah.

Often when you think of hospice care you think of someone going into a specialist ward to be looked after in their final days. This was certainly the case for several members of my family who received wonderful end-of-life care at Sobell House.

However, when my dad Ralph was diagnosed with late-stage pancreatic cancer it was important to him – and to my family – that he stayed in the home he loved. It was heart-breaking to see dad deteriorate so quickly and he was unable to leave his bed in his final month of life as he grew weaker and weaker.

Pictured: Ralph and his dog Lola
Pictured: Paula, community nurse
Pictured: Ralph and his dog Lola

Caring for him was emotional, stressful and exhausting for my brother and I and I don’t know how we would have coped without the regular visits and phone calls from Paula, one of the community specialist nurses from Sobell House. She was on hand with words of advice about his care and pain control, and spoke to dad’s GP and district nurses to ensure he was getting the best possible support. Towards the end, Paula arranged for some overnight nursing care to provide us with some much-needed respite. I will always be grateful to Paula for this as it meant I was able to spend dad’s final day with him as his daughter, not his carer, feeling rested and calm.

In the end my dad died peacefully and pain-free in the home he had lived in for nearly 50 years, with his beloved dog Lola by his side. This was exactly as he wished, thanks to the incredible support from Sobell House.

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

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