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6 Mar 2020 Personal Stories

Sharman set to lace up in honour of her wonderful husband

On the 20th June, Sharman Secker will be joining hundreds of walkers at Kirkwood’s Midnight Memory Walk. Taking part for the very first time, Sharman will be staying up late to remember the man who she cherished the most – her husband, Stephen.

Sharman, and 69-year-old Stephen Secker, were happily married for 46 wonderful years before Stephen sadly died after being diagnosed with an incurable brain tumour.

During his life, Stephen worked as a Police Officer and Detective Sergeant, which was a job he loved dearly until the day he retired.

Sharman said: “In September 2018, Stephen’s symptoms started to worsen. Before, he would wake up early for work, and he always dressed so smart. But when his symptoms changed, he struggled to find the motivation to do day-to-day tasks.”

Stephen was first referred to Kirkwood’s In-Patient Unit on the 31st October 2018 by Kirkwood Community Nurse, Jo Dowson. She wanted the Kirkwood team to assess and improve Stephen’s mobility after a fall at home left him with limited movement.

 Sharman and Stephen 

Sharman said: “Initially there were no beds available at Kirkwood, so Jo started to make arrangements for Stephen to have a bed and all of the equipment he would need to be able to stay at home. Soon after, Jo contacted us to say a bed had become available.

“Jo arranged everything we needed. She was marvellous.”

Sharman was overwhelmed with the care and support her and Stephen received by the Kirkwood team.

“The care was fantastic, Stephen was pampered. He had Jacuzzi baths; he always loved baths! He could also listen to his favourite music.

“The chef, Matthew, was so lovely too. He made anything Stephen wanted, such as scrambled egg and salmon for breakfast.

“One day, during a conversation, Stephen told Matthew how he always loved and enjoyed whisky marmalade. The next day, Matthew brought Stephen some whisky marmalade that he had made especially for him. He even made me a birthday cake!

“Being at Kirkwood was amazing, I felt like we were in a cocoon, like a safety net.”

After four weeks of and care and support on the In-Patient Unit, Stephen was able to go home on the 27th November.

 “At first, I was quite anxious about leaving, but the support continued when we were home. Kirkwood Community Nurse, Jo, was always there. It was also reassuring to have the support from the 24/7 advice line.

“Jo was so helpful and supportive. I got a lot out of her visits. I felt like I had a contact, someone I could call anytime. Jo was always there when I needed her.”

In April 2019, Stephen was admitted back in to Kirkwood’s In-Patient Unit where he was cared for for four days before he sadly died on the 14th April 2019.

Sharman and her family are now preparing to lace up for Kirkwood’s Midnight Memory Walk and join hundreds of walkers in honour of her wonderful husband.

“It means a lot to me to be taking part in the Midnight Memory Walk this year in memory of Stephen. He was always so grateful, and he would want us to do something to give back and help other families.”

Sharman and her family will be taking on the six mile route at this year’s Midnight Memory Walk. If you’d like to join them, registration is now open. To take advantage of our early bird offer, sign up today by clicking here.

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