Dave Rose, aged 59 from Chorleywood, passed away at Peace Hospice Care, in Watford, on 12th December 2015.
He was cared for in the Hospice's Inpatient Unit (IPU) for six weeks prior to his death. Marty Rose, his wife, explains what that care meant and why it's so important for her to give back.
Marty relates: "Dave had complex needs, living with Type 1 Diabetes since the age of 11. Shortly after moving from South London to Chorleywood in 2009, Dave was diagnosed with Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis, an added challenge which he shouldered well. Shortly after the wedding of Dave's daughter, Louise, he was suddenly diagnosed with Colon Cancer in summer 2013, with no prior symptoms. Following surgery, Dave chose to endure 24 months of ongoing chemo. We were both absolutely determined to get the most out of any remaining opportunity, as Dave put it 'to squeeze every last drop of joy out of every day.'
"Choosing treatment meant that Dave lived long enough to see the arrival of his first two grandchildren (Eva and Harry) and their first birthdays. Dave was totally in control of bowing out of treatment in Sept 2015, when the time was right, content that both his son (Dan) and daughter were settled and had families of their own.
"We both hoped for Dave to remain at home, but he was comforted to know that Peace Hospice Care might be an option if things became too hard for him. It was only when pain hit and he could no longer walk that he wanted to explore this option.
"When Dave came into the Inpatient Unit, I was able to stay with him which was amazing. Dave was not afraid of dying, he had accepted that fate, but he was concerned about managing pain. I know there is still a stigma in society about hospices, but for us the Hospice was able to offer us loving care and helped me support my husband in a dignified way through his final journey.
"I wanted to give back to the Hospice for the amazing care my husband and I received. Dave stayed in the Woodside Room, however during that time the room did not have a sign; so I had one made at WSi (West Moreland Signs International) in Cumbria, who kindly donated it to the charity. Being able to do something small for the Hospice also helps me to move through the grief."
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