"The last 7 months of my wife's life"

About: Greenwich and Bexley Community Hospice London Queen Elizabeth Hospital / General medicine

(as a relative),

My wife began complaining about pain in her shoulder August last year. For 1st couple of weeks we ignored it. Thought it might be arthritis, eventually went to GP. Sent for x ray. Good call here doc.

Our GP was on top of my wife's care at all times. This led to a urgent referral and consultation at QE hospital Woolwich. The diagnosis was stage 4 lung cancer. My wife had given up smoking 2 years before but in the past smoked 20 + a day. At all times we were treated with respect and kindness. There was no delay with treatment or diagnostic tests. We learnt you sometimes have to read between the lines, for example if a McMilan nurse joins you. It is not going to be good news. My wife stood the 1st 3 rounds of chemo well. However after Xmas it was decided to stop treatment.

In late February she developed an infection and was admitted as an in patient. I was concerned. You do hear these tales. However again we were teated with respect and kindness. More importantly for me and the family, my wife did not suffer.

After 12 days she was discharged. A care package was put in place. My wife was discharged home with Hospital bed etc provided. 3 times a day carers from Greenwich & Bexley hospice attended. However with the best will in the world this did not work out. One event occured however that no one has ever heard of before. We could not get my wife's false teeth out. We were worried that an infection mught start. Our NHS dentist came to our home in his lunch hour and did the job. Unbelievable. Above and beyond.

Early March my wife was admitted to the Greewich & Bexley hospice. The family and I cannot express enough our gratitude for the way she was cared for. At no time was she in pain she was treated with dignity.

Sadly my wife passed away in March, aged 72. I used to be a bit cynical about the NHS but our experience changed my mind. But I have nothing but disdain for those who used it as a politcal football during the recent election.

Well done NHS

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