Beverley, 65 and Michael, 82 are from Benfleet and have been together for 44 years. Beverley describes Mike as her “best friend and carer.” They have two adult children and three grandchildren (with one on the way).
In June 2013 Beverley was diagnosed with endometrial cancer.
The cancer reoccurred in September 2016 with further complications. Beverley was being cared for at home by her husband Michael, but was experiencing huge amounts of pain.
The pain worsened and she had gone into hospital for 10 days in May 2017 but they couldn’t get the pain under control. Beverley was referred to Fair Havens Hospice whilst in hospital and was admitted on Friday 2nd June for a respite stay and help from the specialist doctors and nurses with pain management.
When Beverley first arrived at the hospice, her pain was so severe that she was unable to walk up the stairs to her room. The care team at the hospice worked with Beverley to find a way to manage her pain.
“I said no at first, I thought I wasn’t ill enough to go into a hospice. I didn’t want to take up a bed for someone who needed it more. And I was worried because it’s a hospice. I felt instantly calm when I arrived, like I was in safe hands. The Fair Havens Doctor listened to me for over an hour. Nobody had understood up until then as my condition is complicated. They took the holistic approach and organised a regime to get my pain under control.”
The medication worked within a few days and ten days after being admitted, on Monday 12th June, Beverley walked out of Fair Havens Hospice and went home to her husband with practical solutions to control her pain.
“I’d been in and out of hospital, not getting any better, not having anyone to talk to who understood. Now I’ve been to Fair Havens, I’ve got peace of mind. I go home knowing I have a contact number if I need it. At home, my husband was under strain caring for me and being here has given total respite for us both. I know I still have a journey ahead and have to learn to live with cancer but this stay at Fair Havens has not only helped me but my whole family."
Beverley has urged her friends and family to fundraise/support the hospice saying:
“Because of my experience here, a few of my friends have made generous donations and we’ll be making one too because we haven’t had to pay a penny, yet the care has been amazing, like nothing we’ve experienced. We’ve actually seen where our money will be going and who it will be helping; people like us.”
Beverley was blown away by the level of care saying:
“It’s genuine care, not just popping your head round the door. You have to be a special type of person to work here, they give 100%."
“Whatever is ahead, Fair Havens will help us cope. I don’t think I’d be frightened now because I know how caring this place is and how wonderful the people are. Fair Havens is for the living, not just the dying.”
To find out more about how you or someone you know would benefit from the care at Fair Havens, click here
If you would like to donate to Fair Havens Hospice please click here