Veronica was initially diagnosed with cancer in August 2018, which has since spread. Those involved with her care had been trying to convince her to visit Fair Havens.
During the Coronavirus outbreak Veronica had a second stay at the hospice in Prittlewell to help control her pain and symptoms, but Peter her partner was also struggling with anxiety and exhaustion. The couple have three daughters, and as a family they want Veronica to stay at home for as long as possible.
Veronica says, “When I first visited, I wasn’t expecting anything like this. The experience has been unbelievable. What I especially noticed was how the whole team worked together. They’re such a happy bunch, and seem to really enjoy what they do.
“Emotionally, there were so many things that I needed to do, to tell my loved ones and they helped me to do that by creating keepsakes. I feel relieved that I’ve managed to achieve this because it had started to become overwhelming.
“The word ‘hospice’ terrified me. I kept shying away from the issue until I was taken ill. Quite honestly, coming to Fair Havens is the best thing that has happened. I feel less fearful now about the future.”
Occupational Therapist Mary-Ann Campbell has worked closely with Veronica and Peter during this stay. “I wanted to empower and enable the couple to go back home and manage with the support our team has put in place, with additional coping strategies.
“We’ve worked on managing anxiety with some mindfulness and breathing exercise to help keep them calm when there are bumps in the road, so they feel able to cope at home. There’s a discharge plan in place and we’ll keep in contact too.
“It’s been a real honour and privilege to work with Veronica and Peter. They are brave, have spoken from the heart about what was truly troubling them, and we’ve worked together to find tools and techniques so they feel stronger to deal with the next chapter.”
Veronica continues, “If you have any doubt about making a donation to Havens Hospices, please know the huge difference they have made to my life, and countless other people like me.”
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Published in 2020
If you have any doubt about making a donation to Havens Hospices, please know the huge difference they have made to my life, and countless other people like me.