Malcolm was an inpatient at St Ann’s Hospice in Heald Green, here Malcolm’s wife, Elli, shares their story and experience of St Ann’s.
When Malcolm, my soul-mate and partner of 25 years, was diagnosed with cancer, it was one of the most difficult times I have ever experienced. Dealing with his illness over a number of years was a tremendous strain on both of us, particularly when Malcolm needed a tracheotomy which meant he could no longer speak.
Going into St Ann’s was the best decision we could have made. They provided amazing care for Malc, and looked after me too. The staff truly went the extra mile when, at the age of 76, my Malc proposed to me on a piece of paper, and they helped us get married!
It was a truly wonderful day. Although Malc was never a religious man, over time we’d got to know the St Ann’s Chaplain, Peter, and he carried out our wedding ceremony in the hospice chapel.
Six days after our wedding, Malc died. I was there by his side holding his hand. Chaplain Peter later conducted his funeral service.
I won’t lie and say it has been easy to come to terms with, even though I had known for some time my Malc was poorly, but it was eased by the compassion shown to me by the staff at St Ann’s, and seeing how dignified it was for Malc.
I owe a real debt of gratitude to St Ann’s that I feel I’ll never repay. They didn’t stop caring about me when Malc died - I still visit them now, and I volunteer my time helping out with the gardening and various fundraising activities.
The care and warmth of the people at St Ann’s is genuine. They helped make the last few days my late husband and I shared some of the most special days of my life.