Marion tells how the Hospice Community Team supported her in caring for her husband Peter, enabling him to die at home surrounded by his family. Peter was a fighter. He’d been the Commanding Officer’s driver and personal bodyguard in the Third Battalion, Queen’s Regiment. He had been injured twice in Northern Ireland, but he’d come through it.
It was New Year’s Eve 2020 when Peter received the diagnosis that he had Motor Neurone Disease (MND) with the bulbar effect, and had six to eight months to live. We didn’t even know what MND was. Our daughter-in-law Jane who used to be a carer, and our son Mark, came over and explained what it was and we talked everything through. We decided then and there we were going to look after Peter at home.
My daughter Lynette put her life and that of her family on hold to help me. I was going to see my husband through to the end and it’s a promise I kept.
The Hospice were brilliant. They contacted us in the February to explain their services and visited Peter at home. From then on, they rang twice a week to check if we had any problems.
We would often ask them to liaise with our doctor’s surgery over different issues. One time they arranged for the pharmacist to visit to work out how much medication Peter needed. On another occasion they were able to get our GP to see Peter and clear his airways when he was finding it hard to breath.
Occasionally, the Hospice would ask Peter if he wanted to spend some time as an Inpatient, but he always refused. He was fiercely independent and he wanted to stay with us. Throughout our married life, we had always done everything together 50:50.
By the September, Peter was struggling to get on and off the stair lift to go to bed, so I called the Hospice and Joerg (Senior Nurse) arranged for a riser recliner chair, a bed, and a hoist to be delivered. I asked how long we’d got to move our living room furniture and Joerg said he can have the bed here by midday tomorrow. Peter and I just looked at each other stunned and said, “That quick?” The Hospice made such a difference. Joerg and the community team helped me more than they will ever know. With their help, Peter was fighting to the end. When he died, he knew I was with him. He had his children around him and his ‘mutleys’ - our two Westies - lying across his legs.
We’re here to offer care and support for people with MND Motor neurone disease is a rare condition affecting the brain and nerves. There’s no cure for MND, but there are treatments to help reduce the impact it has on a person’s daily life.
To support members of our community living with MND we run a social support group held twice a month where complimentary therapy, advice and support from both Hospice colleagues and members of the Motor Neurone Disease Association is available. A referral to access the group is required before attending. To find out more, please call 01622 792200 ext 226 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Group Friday (1st and 3rd Friday of each month) 10:00am – 2:00pm