Trevor Dadswell and his wife Daphne had been married for 30 years when Daphne was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at the age of 51.
After two years of battling cancer, Daphne died in the Hospice in September 2007. Trevor explains what it was like caring for his wife in those final months.
“When we discovered the cancer had spread, my wife decided that she didn’t want any more chemotherapy. I had been made redundant earlier in the year, which was fortunate as I had plenty of time to look after her. Our GP surgery referred us to the Hospice and my wife was cared for by the Community Team. They used to visit us regularly to review Daphne’s medication and ensure that she was comfortable. The nurses were also an enormous support to me as I was in shock and all my waking hours were focused on caring for Daphne. They gave me some quiet time to reflect on what was going on, and to explain the different stages patients go through right up to passing away. Daphne’s sister had died in a hospice in Hampshire in the mid-1990s and every year we had taken part in the Bluebell Walk to raise money for The Heart of Kent Hospice.”
Three years after Daphne passed away in the Hospice, Trevor received an invite from the Hospice to attend an event about plans to improve the building.
“After Daphne died my life had lost its sense of meaning, and at first I was apprehensive about setting foot in the Hospice, but I knew that eventually I would need to overcome my fears.”
Soon after the event, Trevor decided to apply to become a volunteer. Three years on and he is now a familiar face at the Hospice where he works in the Finance department and the coffee shop two sessions a week. He may also be found stepping in to help out on reception, and will lend a hand marshalling at some of the fundraising events.
“I feel that I am giving something back to the Hospice for the care and attention they gave to my wife. By being there I feel like it’s being back in touch with her, like there’s a connection.There is a very calm, tranquil environment in the Hospice and the staff are very friendly.”