Family stories

Read how we've touched the lives of local families

Our #LoveProspect awareness campaign aims to educate local people and businesses about the end-of-life care services that we offer in our community of Swindon and north-east Wiltshire. We are the only dedicated end-of-life care service in this area. Our care and support are free of charge, bringing the best possible care to anyone who needs us.

Graeme’s Story

In almost every instance, when someone is a patient at Prospect Hospice, there’s a family involved too. Sometime that can be a very young family, as it was when Graeme’s wife Lorna was cared for at Prospect Hospice in the last days of her life. “Our children, Emily-Mae and Rocky, were just five and four, so they were barely old enough to understand that their mum wouldn’t recover from her illness and that she wouldn’t be coming home to us,” he says.

In circumstances like this, our caring team come together in the hope of creating the best possible experience for the whole family, in what are undeniably tragic circumstances. Our Family Support team play a huge part in ensuring the needs, wishes and sensitivities of the whole family are considered. “Everyone at Prospect Hospice was incredible when Lorna was a patient and they were so considerate of the children,” Graeme recalls. “When Lorna was first diagnosed, we had planned to take the children to Disneyland Paris, but she became so unwell so quickly it wasn’t possible. When the Family Support team heard about this, they did a wonderful thing. One of their social workers organised a Disney experience right there in the hospice – a fundraiser wore a Minnie Mouse costume, a doctor was Buzz Lightyear and the social worker herself dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean. The children thought it was magical and, even better, Lorna’s bed was moved into the conservatory so that she could be there.”

Graeme adds: “It was an amazing experience that I’ll never forget. I’ll always be so grateful to the team at Prospect Hospice for all that they did for Lorna, and all that they did for us all.”

Judith’s Story

When Judith and her mum, Win, needed our support, Prospect Hospice were there, with help for Win at home through our Prospect Nurse Specialist team and our Prospect@Home team. “My Mum had dementia, and it became clear that, in the final weeks of her life, she needed the kind of help that only Prospect Hospice could offer locally, and which would mean that she could be cared for at the end of her life in the place that she wanted to be – in her own bed, in her own home,” says Judith.

At first, Judith and Win met Louise, a Prospect Nurse Specialist, who worked with them to identify what Win needed immediately and the care that she would be likely to need in the weeks that she had left. “She was amazing,” Judith recalls. “She talked with Mum and with me not just about how Mum felt physically, but about her emotional wellbeing, and the things that mattered most to her. She helped my Mum understand that we, her family, would be okay when she was gone, and I think that brought her peace of mind that she needed.” As Wins life drew to a close the Prospect @ Home began to play their part in her care.

“I had moved in with Mum and we already had a team of carers. The Prospect team worked with us to ensure she was supported around the clock. They also gave us advice on how to give the nursing care she then needed, and that brought comfort to us and it meant that we could spend the precious time we had left with my Mum. I’ll always be grateful for how much their care, advice and support meant to us at the end of the life of my wonderful Mum.”

If you’d like to help support the care we provide to thousands of patients each and every year, click one of the links below.

Paul’s Story

When Paul’s wife Claire died at Prospect Hospice at the age of 44, he lost his soulmate and the mother of his two sons, Dan and Jake. Claire was someone who was full of life, a woman who enjoyed every aspect of her life and whose time running a local pub in Swindon and love of a pint was reflected in her coffin, which was decorated in the style of a can of lager. “That’s how we remember Claire,” says Paul now. “She was so much fun to be around, for everyone. People always remember her with a smile.”

Claire’s last days were spent on our In-Patient Unit, where she was supported by our team of nurses, doctors, carers and therapists. “Their care was second to none,” says Paul. “They made sure that she was comfortable and as pain-free as she could be. That gave us time to spend together, to be with each other, both she and I and as a family. It meant so much to us – I’ll never forget it.”

In the time since Claire died, Paul has sought to raise funds for Prospect Hospice, just as a way of ‘giving something back’. “It’s important to me, and I am sure that it is what Claire would have wanted me to do too,” he says. “I’ve taken part in a three-day trek in Dartmoor on foot and with canoes, done a 15,000ft skydive, and even took part in a Zumba marathon, dressed head to foot in Lycra to raise money.  Claire would have laughed so much, but I think ,she would have been proud of me too.”

If you’d like to help support the care we provide to thousands of patients each and every year, click one of the links below.

The prospect of

If you have seen our current posters and advertising campaign, you’ll already know that we offer the prospect of care, security, hope and being at home for the community of more than 300,000 when they have been diagnosed with a life-limiting illness.  Our campaign was launched at the end of 2017 to promote the availability of our services to the whole community and to shed light on some of the services that local people perhaps don’t know that we provide. The campaign offers an opportunity for local people to consider what we might be able to do for them, now and in the future, and consider ways in which they too might want to support our work. After all, we can only offer our care and services with your help.

Our campaign highlights the fact that, every day of the year, and every minute of every day,  Prospect Hospice is delivering care, offering a sense of security, supporting people in their homes and giving some hope to people and their families about a future they can’t yet see. We’ve featured real, local people in our campaign who have already experienced the kind of difference Prospect Hospice makes in the lives of people each year. Please take the time to read about how we helped some of the people most important in the lives of Graeme, Judith and Paul – just three of thousands of local people we support each year.

Thank you for your support – you help us to make the difference, and to offer the prospect of care, security, hope and home in Swindon, Marlborough and across north east Wiltshire.

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