Patient and family stories

Mark’s Story

Julia’s Story

Ryan’s Story

Shared by Ryan’s partner, Nicki.

My name is Nicki and my partner, Ryan, was just 36 years old when he received end-of-life care at Sobell House. Our son, Riley, wants other people to hear his Daddy’s story.

Ryan was a kind and caring man. He was a good friend, a great partner and a brilliant Dad to our young son, Riley. Ryan was the type of person who would do anything for anyone, and if someone needed his help they knew that they could always rely on him to be there for them. A postman by trade, Ryan was popular, sociable, and charismatic with a special talent for getting out of trouble by simply saying ‘I love you’.

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Denise’s Story

Shared by Denise’s daughter, Sarah.

My Mum Denise, Neesie to those who knew and loved her, was admitted to Sobell House in October 2014 after her melanoma cancer treatment failed at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford.

Mum was hoping to make the trip home to stay in our local end of life care facility but was unfortunately too poorly for transport, so she spent the last week or so of her life at Sobell House. My two sisters and I were able to stay with Mum the entire time, taking it in turns to sleep by her bedside each night while the other two slept in a room down the corridor.

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Carol’s Story

Shared by Carol’s daughter, Ella.

My beautiful Mum, Carol Brown, was diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer in April 2023. Her diagnosis came as a massive shock; she’d never suffered with poor health before, she was always the one looking after us when we were poorly. Mum was invincible in my eyes.

Mum worked in care and spent a lot of time at Sobell House visiting her patients. Because of this, she instantly knew in late June that the time had come and she needed round-the-clock care at the hospice. As you may know, when someone is in the last stages of their life, they can become quite agitated, but it was a relief to see that Mum calmed down as soon as she knew she was going to Sobell House.

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John’s Story

Shared by John’s daughter, Hayley.

My Dad was an amazing man; a true friend to so many and the most supportive dad I could have asked for.

It came as a complete shock when Dad called me in 2013, while I was on holiday in Cornwall, and told me he had collapsed, was in hospital having tests, and they suspected he had cancer. Shortly after this we were told the news that Dad had been diagnosed with stage four prostate cancer. He was a strong-willed man – never one to give up – and chose to join clinical trials. Some of the trials worked and helped to bring his blood levels down, which in turn improved his overall health, but sadly he was still struggling to live an independent life and was in a lot of pain, which was really hard to see.

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Stephanie’s Story

Shared by Stephanie’s husband, Ian.

The first real indication that something was wrong was when Stephanie set out on a dark, wet, mid-November evening to walk a few hundred yards to the village church. She came to her senses, soaked through, on a busy and dangerous country road half a mile away from her intended destination, having become completely disorientated. She managed to make a call for help on her mobile phone, and a search party had her back home, safe and warm, within an hour.

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Gary’s Story

Shared by Gary’s friend, James.

I first met Gary back in 1985 at the Oxford United Manor Ground – we were both avid Oxford United fans. From that day on we became great mates and often met at the football ground to watch our beloved Oxford play.

As the years went by, we would often be found in the pub sipping on a few beers and playing crib, a card game we often butted heads on!

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