Mike Wright - End of Life Care

I became aware of the services offered by Herriot Hospice Homecare as a volunteer with my dog Nina. It never occurred to me that one day my husband Mike would be receiving their support.

In early January 2014 he was diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer and after much soul searching and research opted for quality of life rather than chemotherapy which would be harsh and not extend his life.

We had a year of lots of holidays with family, on our own, lots of treats for Mike - and anything he mentioned he got. In December 2014 he had enjoyed two of the younger grandchildren's nativities, but in the night suffered severe breakthrough pain and was admitted to the Friarage Hospital and then Teesside Hospice.

Mike was desperate to die at home. I found that because that was his wish,t he wheels were being turned very quickly to get Mike home. I felt totally overwhelmed about being able to cope and give Mike the level of care he needed with no nursing experience. I descended on Herriot offices in tears. They were absolutely wonderful and I left their offices totally reassured that support would be available immediately and include everything necessary for Mike's care.

I returned home and equipment started arriving to ensure Mike was as comfortable as possible at home. I believe this was organised between Herriot and the District Nurses etc. A schedule was given to me of the help that Herriot was providing which would commence the day Mike arrived home. I was assured this would be increased as needed.

Mike started with one carer four times a day but this increased to two carers each visit as Mike became more poorly. They were all wonderful.The kindness and support shown to Mike and I was outstanding. Mike's dignity was of paramount importance to them and all the care they delivered for him was done with the utmost respect and kindness. They also helped me, with a kind word, or on a bad day a chat and a hug. There was always support available if needed from the team at the Office. You never felt alone .

Mike lost his brave fight in March 2015, but I shall always remember the way the Health Care Team would chat to him when he was well enough to enjoy their company, but also knew when he was not well and made him comfortable quietly and sympathetically. He looked forward to their visits and they became our friends. Itruly believe that Herriot gave Mike quality of life whilst they were caring for him.

My family and Iwill always be grateful to everyone at Herriot who was involved in Mike's care for making it possible for him to fulfil his wish to die at home.

Thank you so much

Chris & Family