"It was a great comfort that Sue was there when my wife died"

About: Huddersfield Royal Infirmary / General medicine Kirkwood Hospice Locala Community Partnerships CIC / District nursing

(as a relative),

Last year my wife was diagnosed with bowel cancer that had spread to her liver. The cancer was inoperable. She rejected chemotherapy because we were told that it had only a 20% chance of working & even if it did work it would only have given at most a few extra weeks of life. She died earlier this year. These are the basic facts about those four horrendous months. It has taken me some time to feel able to write this.

The professionals that advised & looked after my wife in those months were truly professional in their work.

Joe Dent was the specialist that gave us the awful diagnosis but she did it in an extremely patient and sensitive way, showing genuine sympathy that helped us to accept the cold hard facts of the matter. Our GP, Dr Anderson, was sensitive & thoughtful and was of great support throughout.

My wife was determined to stay at home throughout her illness and the first regular visitor to our house was Andrew Gammon from Kirkwood Hospice. He advised regarding treatment & drugs for pain control but did this in a sensitive way and he never pushed any particular course of action if he sensed that my wife did not want it. He laid out all the options and let my wife decide what she wanted to do which gave her the feeling of being in control.

When my wife finally accepted that she would require some professional practical nursing help we were extremely lucky that Sue Hall came to visit us. The initial impression of Sue was that she was a very experienced professional nurse but we soon realised that she had something extra that made her very special to my wife whose spirits were lifted every time that Sue visited.

Sue said she was ‘just doing the job’ but it was much more than that, it was the sensitive extra little things that she said and did that made so much difference during that horrible period. Every single nurse that came to visit was very friendly, sensitive and professional but Sue was special, Sue was a true angel for my wife and me in our time of need and it was of great comfort to me that Sue was with us when my wife died.

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Response from Linda Thomas, Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust

We are so sorry to hear of the sad loss of your wife, she was clearly a very brave and determined lady and undoubtedly will be greatly missed. It has obviously been a very difficult time for you and it is very much appreciated that you have taken the time to feed back to the staff involved in your wife's care. We will, of course pass on your comments to our staff who were involved with your wife. Best wishes to you for the future.

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