Before I came to Sobell House for help I was in a really bad place. I’d fallen over at work in my job at the council and gone to the doctor for tests. That’s when they told me I had inoperable, terminal prostate cancer. I’m 54 and a carer for my wife and my father-in-law. I lost hope very quickly; I was even thinking of ending my life because I couldn’t bear it.
The staff at the hospital saw how down I was and they introduced me to Sam, one of the counsellors at the hospice. For the first time I could talk to someone and she started to help me see the wood from the trees – and I realised that there was still life left to be lived.
Sam got me into Sobell House’s Day Centre and I started going on a Thursday. At first I thought “This really isn’t for me!”. But after a few weeks it just clicked – I realised we were all on the same path, the age didn’t matter. We had a shared experience and we could understand and support each other.
I felt from that moment that Sobell House was my place; my time there was the highlight of my week. I learned that it’s OK to be ill, to feel upset, or worried. The staff there supported me, they were always there to listen and most of the time they had a cuppa and a biscuit for me too.
And then the pandemic came. But the hospice didn’t give up on me, they’ve stayed with me, even though we have to meet up on my iPad now. I know that it’s just important that we connect with each other – it doesn’t matter how. They give me advice, help and even love – all over a screen.
I know the staff there have been under such incredible strain this last year, so I wanted to do something to make a difference to them.
I decided to make a donation to buy new lamps and radios for all the bedrooms; each room will now be a little brighter and even more welcoming for the others like me who will be going into the hospice.
Sobell House has become so precious to me, I hope I’ll be able to go back in soon. I think we all have to support them, through these tough days, because we have to make sure they can still be there to let people have the same experience, the same memories, as I have. I hope you feel the same way.
You can help us to be there for people like Paul.
It’s our incredible donors that fund and support our dedicated staff to deliver exceptional end-of-life care to local people, making our hospice a place of warmth, comfort and peace. Donate today to our Crisis Care Appeal and help us to continue our care.