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18 Jul 2019 Personal Stories

“You come here to live and have quality of life”

John Rogers, aged 89 from Dalton, suffers from both heart and kidney conditions. Earlier this year he was referred to our Braveheart Group to help manage his symptoms. Little did he realise, that he and his wife would become regulars in our Support & Therapy centre.

John and his wife, Margaret live in Dalton and have been married for 62 years.

By end of 2018, John hadn’t been feeling particularly well for around 12 months. He was spending more and more time at home, eventually reaching the point where he only popped out on the odd occasion – when he really needed to.

In December 2018, John came down with what he thought was a bad chest infection and, after a course of antibiotics, was still feeling unwell and really struggling with his breathing.

Margaret, who was understandably concerned about her husband, booked an appointment for John to see his Doctor.

Margaret said: “John’s doctor immediately referred us to a Heart Specialist and Renal Nurse who were able to confirm that John was suffering from both Heart and Kidney conditions.

John and his family have been well supported by the Heart Specialist and Renal Nurses, who have made numerous visits to their home. It was the Heart Specialist who first referred John to Kirkwood.

“Earlier in the year, John’s Heart Specialist, Michelle, told us about Kirkwood’s Braveheart group.”

John added: “Initially, I wasn’t keen to attend because of the word ‘Hospice’, but after a conversation with my Kirkwood Nurse, Moyra, during a visit she put me at ease and told me the Hospice is for everyone.

“I decided to give it a go. The first session started on the same day that Moyra had visited me, so as a family, we all came down together that afternoon; me, Margaret and our two daughters, Dawn and Beverly.”

Since their first visit, John and his wife have been back to Kirkwood every week, attending Drop-in Days on a Wednesday and Friday where they play their favourite game, word scrabble, as a family.

 John with his wife, Margaret, and their daughter, Dawn.

 

“Our daughter Beverly lives in London, but she visits once a month and we all come to the Hospice together as a family. It is nice to be able to spend quality time together, play word scrabble and have lunch together.”

Margaret said: “Me and Dawn regularly attend the Share and Care group here. I’ve even had a massage, and John has joined the Men’s Club!

“It is such a lovely place to be, the staff are so friendly and they are there when you need them. I don’t know what we would do without Kirkwood now.

“It is comforting to know that professionals are around us to keep an eye on John. Every week it is somewhere safe for us to go.”

John added: “Kirkwood is a lifeline to me. Everyone is so friendly and chatty. They make us a cup of tea as soon as we arrive.”

John’s daughter, Dawn, said: “I used to think the word ‘Hospice’ was scary, but coming to Kirkwood is the opposite. You come here to live and have quality of life.

“Since my Dad has been coming to Kirkwood his overall health and wellbeing has improved.”

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