An elderly man who went into a hospice to die puts his recovery down to the good food, exercise and bubble baths that gave him the will to live.
David Pitcher had not eaten for three weeks and was extremely weak, dehydrated and bed-bound when he arrived at the Hospice of St Francis earlier this year.
He had suffered from serious infection with acute pneumonia following his sixth course of chemotherapy for leukaemia and had withdrawn consent for active treatment whilst in hospital, including antibiotics.
He was not expected to survive, having just turned 84 years old but the care he received changed all of that. He said: “There was such a wonderful choice, I could not believe the standard of the food, it was like I was being catered for personally.
“It completely restored my confidence and pleasure in life. I was even allowed a gin and tonic which I’d not had for over a year.”
Treatment at the hospice began with hot jacuzzi bath, massages and exercise, which improved his general strength and wellbeing.
His condition improved dramatically, so much so that he began taking walks around the gardens.
His son, Max said: “What is even more remarkable, his bone marrow has recovered for the first time in over a year such that he is no longer requiring blood transfusions.
“He is managing well on his own at home, has started driving again and is even back fly fishing, one of his main passions in life.”
David’s is one of many hospice recovery stories that would surprise people who think of hospices as places where people go to die.
The Hospice of St Francis and Iain Rennie Grove House Hospice Care are highlighting his situation during Hospice Care Week this week to show how the inspiring and personal way that hospice care helps patients living with terminal illness add life to days.
Sally Bonsor, who is a sister on the inpatient unit said: “It is wonderful when we see patients like David, who come to us very ill, but we are able to support them, give them relief and help them improve and return home. We get a real sense of achievement from our work and the difference it can make to someone.”
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Tuesday 21 May 2013
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