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Clive is focusing on living

Patients and families who we care and support often tell us that coming to the Hospice gives them a sense of purpose.

Within our Focus on Living Centre patients have the opportunity to spend time with us during the day and take part in short courses, often making friendships and learning new skills.

Clive Rutter, 83 from Birtley, Gateshead came to the Hospice after being diagnosed with prostate cancer.

He and his wife, Myrna, have been married for 60 years, and celebrated their wedding anniversary recently by having a blessing at the church they go to. Clive and Myrna have a son, daughter and four grandchildren.

Two years after his diagnosis, Clive has a positive outlook on life and his wife Myrna says that he is a different person. Clive, who comes to our Focus on Living Centre, tells us more:

“As soon as I walk through the doors at St Oswald’s I feel a sense of peace and tranquillity. Due to my condition, I can no longer drive, so my typical day at the Hospice begins with a volunteer driver picking me up from home. From the moment the car door opens, my driver has a smile on their face.

“I’ve got involved in so many activities at the Hospice, I’ve spent time in the craft room making paintings, silk scarves, jewellery and we even keep a silk painting I created in our dining room at home. Fiona, who facilitates the therapeutic activities, has brought out skills and passions I didn’t know I had! I have never done anything arty and I’ve found a talent that I didn’t know existed.

“As well as arts and crafts, I’ve taken part in relaxation sessions and had complementary therapy, which has been so relaxing. I have met a lot of people at the Hospice and without exception, everyone has been fantastic.”

Myrna, Clive’s wife, explains how she has seen him benefit from coming to St Oswald’s:

“Since being diagnosed with his condition Clive has become a different person. He was always a private, glass half empty sort of person, but now he is so positive and will talk to anyone.

“Coming to St Oswald’s, Clive obviously gets the medical support he needs, but it’s more than that, he looks forward to his days there and I’d say he even gets excited for them. As a couple, we spend so much time together, so when he is at the Hospice it’s good that we get some time out, and I really enjoy hearing about his day.”

 Talking about goals for the future, Clive ended:

“I’ve always been an active person but due to my condition I haven’t been able to move my legs and feet like I used to. Golf was a big part of my life so I want to set myself a goal to take part in a golf tournament in a few weeks.”