We truly appreciate when our patients and their loved ones give us feedback about their experience of Lindsey Lodge.
We recently received this moving feedback from Maralyn Aykroyd about the care she and husband Miles received last year. She has generously allowed us to share this with you, so in her own words Maralyn describes their experience...
"My husband, Miles Aykroyd, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in the autumn of 2014. The cancer had spread outside of the prostate so we were told that the cancer couldn’t be cured but could be treated. In the spring of 2015, he had a course of radiotherapy and the cancer was held at bay until the summer of 2018 when it was discovered that it had spread to his bones. It was only discovered because the dentist detected lack of bone density so a bone scan was ordered by the oncologist. Miles wasn’t suffering pain (much to the surprise of Dr Dixit)
"A six month course of chemotherapy then followed, each treatment left Miles progressively weaker and it was only after much thought that he had the final dose on March 4th 2019. He said that he wanted to be able to say that he had done everything possible.
"Two weeks after the final chemotherapy dose Miles started to suffer with excruciating haemorroids, this was treated as a symptom of the cancer (although scans showed that it wasn’t cancer) for so long that he eventually became deeply depressed. The depression didn’t lift after he was finally operated on and then had pain relief injections in his spine.
"Miles initially attended Lindsey Lodge Hospice as a day care patient. He referred to it as ‘Day Release’….I think that was referring to me having a day off from caring for him. He had spent most of the previous 8/9 months in bed with me tending to all his medical and emotional needs.
"After one of his visits he mentioned to me that the hospice offered paid respite care. He realised that I needed a break so I called the hospice and asked about booking him in for a week to enable me to get away and to know that he would be cared for. I was invited in to see the facilities and to discuss Miles’ needs.
"On January 23rd I went to the hospice and explained everything, in detail, to Senior Nurse Karen Andrew who, after listening carefully, said that she thought that rather than respite care that he needed to be admitted as a patient in order to sort out his medication, both pain relief and anti-depressants. She went to speak to the doctor who knew Miles from the day care centre and who agreed that he should be admitted. There was a bed available the following day, January 24th and I agreed that it would be the best course for Miles.
"From the start Miles seemed to settle, he was happy to be in the care of the staff who, without exception, were wonderful. He quickly realised that if he pressed his buzzer someone would come. If he was asking for pain relief and the person who attended wasn’t able to dispense it they immediately went and got someone who was able to.
"Nothing was too much trouble for anyone, be it the kitchen staff, cleaners, health care assistants, nurses, doctors, counsellors or volunteers. We were both cared for superbly.
"Although we (and I always think of our time at Lindsey Lodge Hospice) initially thought that Miles would be coming home it quickly became apparent that he was deteriorating and he was moved to a side room (he had been in a two-bed room). He really wasn’t happy with the move, missing his view from the window and his new friend in the next bay, so, without any to do, he was moved back and all was ‘well in his world’ again!
"The results of the scans taken just before Miles was admitted to Lindsey Lodge revealed that the cancer had spread to his liver and lungs as well as a further spread of the bone cancer.
"The morning before Miles died he had phoned me, he didn’t know what was wrong, but I knew that he needed me there. All that day I was treated with the best of care and when I said that I would be staying overnight, blankets and pillows were provided for me.
"The following morning, when the health assistant came in and asked me if I minded if she attended to Miles, I asked if she knew if the supermarket would be open so that I could go buy a hairbrush (I’d left home in a hurry) she said she would be ‘back in a minute’, when she returned she said that she had left everything out ready for me if I would like to go to a vacant side room and have a shower and freshen up. There was shampoo, conditioner, a hairbrush, hairdryer, toothbrush and toothpaste. To this day, thinking about that kindness reduces me to tears!
"Later that day, February 15th 2020, when it became obvious that Miles was dying we were asked if we would like to be moved to a single room and we agreed. This was done with no fuss and when I asked if the bed could be moved slightly so that I could have the recliner chair at the side of the bed, facing Miles, the reply was “ Absolutely, but we can do better than that, we can move Miles across a little so that you can get on the bed with him if that’s what you would both like” and that’s what happened. To be able to hold him and to be held by him was a memory to treasure.
"For Miles to die in such a caring place, everyone caring for us and our family and friends made it easier for us both.
"I recently spoke to a friend who had been with Miles while I was having a coffee in the restaurant. I said that he seemed to just ‘put himself into the care of the hospice’ and that his depression had lifted, she told me that he had been really concerned for me and that he knew that we were now both being taken care of.
"Thank you all for making Miles Aykroyd’s last days peaceful.
"Monday is the first anniversary of his death and I will be popping down to Lindsey Lodge Hospice sit in the summer house to give silent thanks for my wonderful husband and the dignity you all allowed him at the end."
If you would like to share your experiences of our care, whether just to share with our team, or with the wider public, please email firstname.lastname@example.org thank you