Harry’s Story

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In 2017, I was diagnosed with stomach cancer.

When the hospital told me that this had spread to my throat and my diagnosis was terminal, I was put in touch with St Catherine’s Hospice.

When I first heard the word ‘hospice’, I didn’t know what to expect but as soon as I walked through the doors I felt relaxed. It couldn’t be more different to how I imagined and everyone I have spoken to here says the same – I couldn’t have met better people.

Before I came to St Catherine’s, I wasn’t enjoying life.

I’d lost a lot of weight and my health was going downhill. Coming here has really picked me up though; the staff have helped me to gain weight and I have a laugh everyday that I am staying here.

When I arrived, Mandy, a Therapy Technician at St Catherine’s, asked what I enjoy doing. One of my favourite things to do at home is taking care of my garden and so during my stay here, I have enjoyed gardening with the therapies team. So far I have emptied troughs of old bulbs and planted them with Geraniums, and I have replanted the daffodil and tulip bulbs in the hospices flower beds – next spring it’ll look beautiful. I love it!

I am returning home shortly, but I am going to come to the day hospice at St Catherine’s every Wednesday so that I can continue gardening. The therapies team have also helped me find ways to ensure that my garden at home continues to look nice too. I am going to show my son how to take care of it.

Staying at St Catherine’s has made me realise that I still have time to live, but when the end does come, I have already made plans to return to the hospice.

I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

St Catherine’s have also helped my family to understand what is going on. I have nothing but praise for the hospice. The staff really look after you and help you to make the best of what’s to come. Without the hospice, I wouldn’t be here.

If I had to sum St Catherine’s up in a word, it would be brilliant! I love it here and I don’t want to leave, but I know that St Catherine’s will still be there for me at the end of the phone, day or night, if I need them.

I think it’s important that people support and raise money for the hospice because they should be able to be there for everyone who needs them, and the amazing staff deserve all the support they can get.