Chris’s story

July 2020


Life is hard enough when you’re living with the uncertainty of what comes with a life-limiting illness. When you’re self-isolating to keep Covid-19 at bay, a difficult time becomes even more challenging.

For Chris Marlow, Prospect Hospice’s nurses and therapists have been a constant source of care and support from the moment of his diagnosis with lung cancer last year. “Prospect Hospice is the most reliable service helping me through this,” says Chris. “They have been an ever-present support for me and my family, just knowing that they are there.”

Retired retail manager Chris first had a sense that things weren’t as they should be for him when he experienced a rapid and unexplained weight loss last year. Thinking that he had a digestive problem, he was shocked when a scan revealed a tumour in his lungs. Chemotherapy followed and Chris soon had a phone conversation with Sue from the hospice’s community nursing team. Through her, a whole range of supportive care services opened up to him. “Sue was brilliant,” he remembers. “She explained to me all the help that was available from Prospect Hospice. I started going to day therapy, and took part in sessions that helped me manage my breathing better, and classes about how I could exercise, and a session on nutrition and how that could help me live life with my condition. I felt energised.”

It helped Chris to join other Prospect Hospice patients at day therapy sessions. “I made friends with people who knew what I was going through and we were able to help and advise each other,” he says. Chris and his wife Ann also found the professional support of the clinical psychologist a source of comfort. “I speak with them every three weeks,” he says. “It is great to know that they are just at the end of the phone.” Additionally, Chris, Ann and their two daughters have been supported with the expert advice of the family support team during the Covid-19 crisis.

Chris’s illness makes him more vulnerable to the pandemic so he is currently self-isolating, even from his family, but his spirits remain high. “I’m a glass-half-full kind of person,” he says, “but knowing that Prospect Hospice is there for me has been a huge support. If I need their help, they’re there. If they say they’ll do something, they do it.  They’re like an old friend – and you really know who your friends are when you’re ill.”

Chris is one of many hundreds of local people Prospect Hospice is passionate about caring for each and every year – and 2020 marks 40 years of their care for people with life-limiting illnesses. For him, he’s just glad that, even in this most challenging of years, the hospice has been there when he has needed them. “Prospect Hospice has been brilliant,” says Chris. “If I had a million pounds, I’d write a cheque now.”

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