Because of you

Barry’s wife could be comfortable and content

When Val and Barry Harding moved to the village of Chilton Foliat in 2009 they quickly became part of the community. But Val’s mobility deteriorated and she developed COPD, with frequent admissions to hospital, to the point where they became quite reclusive.

After one admission in 2017, a discharge nurse asked if they would like to be referred to Prospect Hospice for support at home. Initially they were surprised, but once they had talked to a Prospect Hospice staff member they realised that there was plenty of help, free of charge, that would improve their quality of life.

“Val’s Prospect Hospice nurse began visiting us at home to see how Val was and how I was bearing up,” says Barry.

“One day she said she would like to discuss with us where Val would like to spend her end-of-life stage. Val wanted to be at home, but in January 2020 her condition worsened and she was taken to hospital. When it became clear what her medical needs would be once she was discharged, she decided she would prefer to go to Prospect Hospice and, of course, I supported her decision.

“The change in her was so good to see – she was comfortable, content and brighter. We had a lovely day together in her room there the next day, with family popping in and out.

“The staff there are truly unbelievable in how far they will go to give patients what they want, or to make sure the stay there exceeds all expectations. Val mentioned she’d like to take Holy Communion and very soon a priest arrived and blessed her for the journey ahead.

“She couldn’t swallow solid food, but could manage ice cream – it was brought on a tray with a tiny vase with a single flower. Things like that just lifted her and me.

“Val slipped away in her sleep, with me and other close members of the family there. I still think of the amazing care they gave us. If people didn’t support them with donations or by volunteering, they couldn’t survive to do this essential work.

“I now volunteer in Prospect Hospice’s Marlborough shop, and also as a volunteer patient/carer visitor, doing home visits to a patient and his daughter/carer.

“I’ve also regained my confidence in the village, and take part in several voluntary roles there. Prospect Hospice remains an important part of my life, and I am grateful they are there for us all.”

To find out more about how you can support the hospice, and people like Barry and Val, click here.