sue's story

Sue was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer in March 2008. By Christmas that year her condition had deteriorated and on Christmas Eve she was admitted to hospital. Sue was discharged on New Year’s Day and on 9th January was take to Fair Havens for respite, where she stayed for 10 days.

On 27th March 2009, Sue died in hospital, aged 50

“That Christmas was horrible. I was at University at the time and I remember coming home and she wasn’t too bad and we were doing Christmassy things but then she took a real turn for the worse. On Christmas Eve she was admitted to hospital and we had to take Christmas dinner to her.

“Mum started to show a little strength so on New Year’s Day we had a proper Christmas dinner at home. I didn’t believe it really but knew I had to realise she could die soon.

“On 9th January the ambulance arrived to take Mum to Fair Havens for a respite break. It was very emotional. We were both in bits. It was awful for me. She was very much still there with a great sense of humour. Mum stayed at Fair Havens for ten days.

“I used to stay until the early hours and come back for breakfast and the chef would ask what Mum and I wanted to eat. We would watch Eastenders together and it was just like being in a second home. The hospital didn’t seem to understand her needs in the same way. She seemed really happy at Fair Havens.

“Mum was prone to panic attacks and anxiety but the nurses made it so easy because they have such a great sense of humour and made Mum laugh. I knew if I wasn’t there she was fine in their care so it was a real weight off my shoulders. They allowed her to retain her dignity. Mum never had to worry.

“If I think about Fair Havens I just think of positivity and kindness, they’re just doing amazing work and that’s why I want to continue supporting them and I’m sure I will for years to come.”

Tash, Sue’s daughter

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