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Sunflower Appeal – Tony’s Story

Tony and Marian live in north Lancashire and about two years ago Marian was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Due to the situation at home becoming increasingly difficult it was suggested that Marian should spend a short time on a Care Home to give Tony some respite. Marian entered the Care Home last March but due to the Coronavirus lockdown ended up staying for about nine months, with Tony having a daily phone call through the window. Unfortunately, Marians condition gradually worsened and she was taken into hospital in November and was given an end-of-life diagnosis. 

Tony decided to bring Marian home which unfortunately coincided with his own diagnosis for prostate cancer, after several months of hormone therapy Tony needed a course of Radiotherapy in Preston. During this time the District Nurses realised that Tony needed respite from his caring for Marian and also would need care for Marian whilst he had his treatment, for one month, in Preston. They therefore contacted St Johns Hospice for assistance. 

Tony said that the care and professionalism shown to Marian from the St Johns Hospice at Home Team proved to be invaluable both in giving him regular respite breaks and also arranging for a team member to sit with Marian whilst he went for his daily Radiotherapy treatment. Tony has also on occasions arranged for night sitting services from the St John’s Hospice at Home team, which has enabled him to get a good night’s sleep. Whilst he uses a baby alarm to listen out for Marian should she wake he says it’s not like having a trained carer to see to Marian’s needs. 

Tony said, “I wasn’t really sure what a Hospice did, I thought of it as a building, a place where people went for end-of-life care, I didn’t know about all the community work they do. St John’s Hospice at Home are first class, their care is absolutely excellent, and we all need to know about what this charity does to help people at home with end-of-life care.”

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