Lucy Watts MBE is a disability and palliative care campaigner and activist. She has a life-limiting illness with extremely complex medical needs.
In the past, Lucy has been supported by The J’s, but this spring visited Fair Havens for the first time following a sudden deterioration in her health. She was admitted to the In Patient Unit for symptom control and investigative tests.
“Wheeling into the beautiful environment of the new Fair Havens Hospice, an immediate sense of calm came over me. The Fair Havens palliative care consultants set to work organising the tests they wanted to run and reviewed all my needs and medication. They liaised with my team in London, as well as with my GP and local services, to meet my needs, gather necessary information and to prepare for discharge at the end of my stay.
Whilst inpatient in Fair Havens, they allowed my Assistance Dog Molly to stay with me. They recognised that Molly is a big part of my life and to have her there would mean a great deal to me. The staff got me to fill in a chart of things I wanted to achieve whilst at the hospice, and this included washing and plaiting my hair, and doing a hand cast with mum, sitting outside in the garden in the sun.
“They also pulled out all the stops to enable another special visitor to the hospice – Eddie (Edwina) the horse. I hadn’t been able to see her for over two years, so her visit was extremely special and gave me such a boost.
“In all the time I have known I have a life-limiting condition, dying at home has been my ultimate goal. Being in the hospice and receiving the fantastic care from the Fair Havens team – and witnessing the speed at which medication can be altered or added in to control symptoms – has transformed the way I view it.
“Now, if we are struggling at home when I am approaching end of life, or if I need a symptom control admission ahead of that time, I would no longer hesitate to request an admission to Fair Havens. We now have an extra layer of support with Fair Havens being on board, and I can rest assured that I will achieve my goals for my life and for my end of life – be that at home, or in the hospice.”
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Published in 2021
We now have an extra layer of support with Fair Havens being on board, and I can rest assured that I will achieve my goals for my life and for my end of life – be that at home, or in the hospice.