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Patient says St Oswald’s is a pathway to life

Julie Roberts, 53, from Gosforth, Newcastle, has been cared for on our Inpatient Unit for pain and symptom management for the last month.

Julie has breast cancer and also attends St Oswald’s Day Hospice. When she attended Day Hospice a few weeks ago, nurses noticed a decline in Julie’s health and put plans in place to make sure she got the care she needed on our Inpatient Unit.

One month later and Julie went home last week. She has three children aged 26, 24 and 19 and lives with her middle child, Amber. Because she didn’t think she’d ever go home, Amber decided to get a dog to keep her company. Tammy the dog is now part of the family.

 Julie tells us more:

“It was only my second visit to St Oswald’s Day Hospice when nurses noticed that something wasn’t right, they saw the decline in my health. I’ve had breast cancer for eight years so it’s sometimes difficult to recognise in yourself when you aren’t well so I’m glad I had St Oswald’s to look after me.

“Shortly afterwards I went in to hospital for a couple of nights and asked for help from other healthcare professionals in the community, who said they weren’t able to help me. St Oswald’s kept in touch with me and told me that they had a bed on their Inpatient Unit ready for me. At that stage I thought I was going to the Hospice for end of life care.

“I’ve now been at St Oswald’s for a month and they’ve given me my life back, I actually think if it wasn’t for the Hospice I would have died. Due to my condition worsening, I’m not able to walk so I’ll be going home this week in a wheelchair but I’m so pleased to be going home as I didn’t think I would ever go home.”

On the care Julie and her family has received from the Hospice, she continued:

“The moment I stepped through the door I have been taken care of. Everyone at St Oswald’s has contributed to me getting well – the doctors, nurses, volunteers, housekeepers, it’s a full team effort. I keep asking where they get their staff and volunteers from, everywhere else I’ve been people do the bare minimum but everyone at the Hospice goes over and above. When I was in hospital I felt like a nuisance but here I know I’m not.

“It’s not just me who has benefitted from support at St Oswald’s, my children have too. The social workers have been really helpful to put things in place for Amber and my other daughter has had massages from the Complementary Therapists. My children come every day and even bring Tammy the dog, who also visits other patients.

“Now that I’m being discharged from St Oswald’s, I know that I’ll never be alone and unsupported as I will be going back to their Day Hospice once a week.

“When I first came to the Hospice I felt fear as I thought it would be a pathway to dying, but it’s not, it’s a pathway to life. Now, every day is good.”