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Should I stay here until I die or just go home

Before Bob went home after his third stay at the Hospice, to be supported by our Hospice in the Home team, he shared his thoughts about his experience.

I asked to come back here because the treatment is wonderful. The hospital saved my life but so did this place. I didn’t understand how ill I was when I came in here this time. I’ve been in here now for weeks and I’m going home in the next few days which I’m really pleased about but I’m also scared about. I’ve been looked after so well here and I don’t want to put pressure on my wife, so it’s a conscious struggle going on with me whether I should go or not; stay here until I die or just go home.

My wife and I had a long chat last night and I’ve decided that I want to go home and she wants me there. I love my wife, Chris, very much and I miss her, I miss her very much indeed. She came in to visit most days and she also looks after my two year old grandson for two days a week so she doesn’t get much time to herself. My grandson has been up to see me; he thinks I’m on holiday when I come here. He calls me Gaga, as in Lady Gaga, ‘Gaga’s on holiday’, which isn’t a bad thing to think. He’s lovely.

The first time I came in, I was in the A&E and the doctor said ‘you know, you should be in the Hospice’ and I said, but that’s for dead people, and he said ‘no it’s not’ and he explained. Then I went to my doctor the day after and I said can I go to the Hospice and she referred me and I was in.

There is a fantastic diet here, the food is marvellous. Yesterday I had stuffed mushrooms, chips and peas. The homemade chicken burgers were fabulous. The way it works is marvellous, it’s not like they do a great big bowl of non-tasting mince and call it chilli or something and slop it in a plate. It’s a la carte. They’ll come to me in the afternoon and they’ll ask me what I’d like. One of the choices is always homemade soup or Heinz soup. So I always have Heinz tomato soup because as a child that’s all I had to eat, or baked beans on toast. I’ll eat anything, I was in the army for 23 years, I will eat anything! 

Image: Bob at the Hospice

The nurses are fantastic, really good banter, it’s marvellous, it really is. They are all exceptional in what they do, and the nurse assistants as well. One of the reasons is they’ve got time to be human, they’re wonderful. 

They let me out for the day on Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday I went to the Cricketers pub with my wife and on Sunday we went home to my house to see my dog because I miss my dog, Ted. He is a poodle and he is stroppy. You can bring your dogs in here and we tried bringing him here but he won’t have it, he won’t settle so we said we’ll go home and see him there. We’ve got three cats and he chases them. He’s like me, wants to get in trouble all the time!

The garden view, I’ve got to say, it’s wonderful, another aspect to this place. This bay is called Bob’s bay – I’ve been here three times and I fight like mad to get here to this bay to see out the window. I’ve been here three times in the last three years. I was ill when I came in with the first two, by God I was ill when I came in this time, I was relieved to come here.

Contribute some money to this place because you may need it one day, that’s an important thing to say. It’s a tremendous place, certainly awesome. The people here, the volunteers, it’s not what you expect. Today is gardening day and loads of people have turned up to maintain it. Wonderful gardeners. I like watching them because I don’t have to do anything to keep it, not even cut the grass!  

This story and images may not be reproduced without express permission from St Helena Hospice.


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