In November 2021 Stephen became increasingly unwell and was diagnosed with Liver Disease.
Life quickly changed; in February 2022 Stephen had to leave his job of 25 years, losing touch with his colleagues and the familiarity of full-time work. Instead, Stephen became familiar with Hospital appointments and emergency visits which could last up to 10 days.
“I was bed ridden and in pain.”
The Liver unit at the hospital referred Stephen to the Living Well Centre here at the Hospice.
“I received a letter inviting me to go to St Cuthbert’s Hospice. I thought it was the end, it’s the stigma, I thought oh Christ.”
“It was a very strange and confusing time. I associated the Hospice with end-of-life, and I couldn’t fathom what I would be doing there or why I was referred.”
Stephen has been out of Hospital for around 6-8 months now and has been coming to the Living Well Centre for 6 months.
“It all got sorted here, I have a better quality of life.
I was bed ridden for so long and now I can get out and sit in the garden. I even drive myself to the Hospice each week.”
Reflecting on how well the Hospice treats him, Stephen commented on how much he appreciates being called a “guest” rather than a patient and the positive impact that has.
“It’s therapy just coming here. Everyone from reception onwards is so warm and welcoming. I feel blessed to be here.”
“I don’t find myself asking lots of questions – they always assure me and if they don’t have the answer they will go and find out.”
“People need to be educated on Hospice care; it is nothing like what I first thought. You can come here for so many reasons, in my case I come once a week to have my procedure and then I go home.”
“I can’t fault them … oh … and the puddings are amazing!”