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Heather and Sam’s story

My darling wife, Heather, was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumour in September 2018. Despite two and a half years of intensive radio and chemotherapy, including trialling an experimental chemotherapy, we were informed in November 2020 that the tumour had quickly progressed. Devastatingly, it would likely mean that the coming months would be Heather’s last.

It was at this point that we were introduced to the team at Sobell House. Particularly Ali (community nurse) and Neale (occupational therapist), who would be looking after us both in the coming months.

The magnificent care we received from the team was remarkable, particularly given the added difficulties of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Being in the vulnerable position that she was, Heather wasn’t able to leave the house much during this time, and was desperate to feel normal again after everything she had gone through. Ali and Neale were always on hand to offer support and advice and helped her to come to terms with what was happening.

Pictured: Heather and Sam on their wedding day
Pictured: Heather on her wedding day

We had originally planned to get married in June 2020, but had to postpone due to the pandemic. After we’d been given the news of Heather’s likely prognosis, we decided we needed to go ahead at fairly short notice, and get married on 7th December. On hearing this, Ali and Neale sprang into action and helped us make the most of our special day.

One of the crueller side effects of Heather’s condition was that the tumour affected her motor functions, and by December she was finding it difficult to walk or even stand. To our astonishment, the local fire brigade were enlisted to help get Heather from our flat to our car so that we could go ahead with the day she had been dreaming about. Needless to say, the addition of five hunky fireman to our wedding day was also appreciated by some of the other gathered guests that day! Despite her condition, the wedding day went better than we could have possibly imagined in the circumstances. The fact that Sobell House were able to make this happen for us is something that I will forever be thankful for.

After Christmas, Heather’s condition worsened dramatically. It was agreed upon that it was best for Heather to remain at home in her final days, given the restrictions that were in place at the time. Ali and Neale again made this difficult time remarkably easy for us and helped transform our bedroom into our own little Hospice. Hospital beds, chairs and all manner of equipment was shipped in, in order to make Heather’s final days as comfortable as possible.

Heather passed away on 12th February 2021. She was only 33 years old.

One thing we all hope for is to have a long and happy life. Unfortunately, Heather wasn’t afforded this luxury, but the tireless efforts of all at Sobell House were able to give her the next best thing. A good death. I’m sure this is something we would all wish for our loved ones. I will never be able to express how truly thankful I am for that.