George and Gwenda Thomas cutting their Golden Wedding anniversary cake, shortly before she died

‘Always cheerful and compassionate…’

George Thomas speaks about the care he and wife Gwenda received from the Hospice at Home nurses

When Gwenda Thomas was told she had leukaemia and only a few months to live, she told her husband George as they left the Macmillan Renton Unit at Hereford County Hospital, that she wanted to die in her own home.

‘Of course, I immediately agreed but soon had nagging doubts,’ said George.

‘How was I going to cope caring for her on my own?’

The following day, when the couple saw their GP, Gwenda repeated her decision not to go into hospital or the Hospice.

‘The doctor said this wasn’t a problem and that he would arrange for the Hospice to come to us, explaining St Michael’s had recently introduced a Hospice at Home service,’ added George.

‘For me, the news was a miracle; the answer to my prayers. Gwenda’s wish had been granted and the Hospice team quickly and efficiently set the wheels in motion.’

A special hospital bed was delivered and a care programme drawn up.

‘Two carers would visit morning and evening, always cheerful and compassionate,’ George continued.

‘Nurses would pop in regularly to administer drugs and ensure she was comfortable.

‘The carers arrived shortly after she died on the evening of 6th May and insisted on staying to bathe her, wash her hair and change her clothes.

‘A final act of sheer kindness.’