Fiona's story

Patient Stories

My mum, Ros Sherwin, was a district nurse. In May 2020, when she was 61, she went for a scan at Glenfield Hospital, and out of the blue she was told she had stage 4 lung cancer. It was a terrible shock.

Initially she was told by her consultant that she had about seven years. To start with chemo seemed to work well and her tumours shrank. But then by the time she had her third round, they had grown, doubled in size. When she found out it was in her liver and spreading to her spine, Mum knew she wouldn’t be around long. Now I look back I realise she had worked out her plan, to come to LOROS. It was me that was lost, bewildered, traumatised about what was happening.

When she found out it was in her liver and spreading to her spine, Mum knew she wouldn’t be around long.

I’m an only child and it’s always been just me and my mum, so we were incredibly close. She was my absolute world.

Mum wanted to be under LOROS care, rather than the hospital. She had great belief in LOROS and asked her consultant outright, ‘I feel like I’m being fobbed off, how long have I got?’ She just wanted to know the truth, because she was a nurse. He confirmed what she thought – she was unlikely to be around by Christmas. It was October 2020.

Mum came into LOROS for pain management. We were all in lockdown and it was very difficult at home. I’m a single mum with two children and I had also just been made redundant. I was just so glad she was being cared for so well.

On 4th November the LOROS nurses threw my daughter, Imogen, a little party for her 6th birthday. They decorated Mum’s room with balloons and even made Imogen a birthday cake with her name on it. Nothing was too much trouble. Mum was so upbeat and happy. I started to make plans for her to be discharged and come and live with me. It felt like things were starting to get back on track.

Then suddenly the next day the nurses told me she had entered the final phase. In 24 hours everything had changed.

I remember she said, ‘I really want a beer’, and the nurses brought her one!

To start with she seemed the same. I remember she said, ‘I really want a beer’, and the nurses brought her one! She said, ‘this place is just like a hotel!’ Leicester were playing and she was a big foxes fan, so one of the nurses had a radio and we sat there listening to the match, me holding her hand, occasionally chatting.

I sat there for hours. I didn’t move, I didn’t go. I wanted to be there when she died. Eventually one of the nurses persuaded me to go home for a shower. As soon as I got home, I got a call, saying she’d gone.

I raced back to the Hospice and was met by a lovely nurse who took me in to see Mum. They protected me then, warned me she wouldn’t look the same. I just sat there and cried and the nurse stayed with me.

She told me later that Mum was adamant that she didn’t want me there when she died. It was the last thing she could do to protect you, she said.

She told me later that Mum was adamant that she didn’t want me there when she died. It was the last thing she could do to protect you, she said.

It made sense because when I looked back at her whole illness, which was very short – just six months and one day, she was in complete control of everything. She was a nurse, she knew LOROS professionally, she rated them highly and had decided that’s where she wanted to die, with dignity.

She’d even planned her funeral, and gifts for my daughters too. She knew what she wanted. I still felt very guilty for not being there and LOROS arranged for counselling and support to help me as I wasn’t coping well.

Some of the nurses knew her and I felt so much better knowing they were looking out for her. Because of COVID-19, I couldn’t come in as much as I wanted, so it was such a comfort to know they were there. The nurses told me later that they do exactly the same for all their patients though, which is amazing.

I remember our last conversation. She was putting my life in order, telling me what I needed to do as she wasn’t going to be there to tell me. She suddenly said: ‘you need to give something back for this care – you’ll need to run a marathon or something for LOROS’, and I was like, ‘Mum! Can you not think of something a bit easier?!’ In the end I did a skydive and raised more than £1,770 in Mum’s memory.

A life chapter ended when my mum died, yet with the support of LOROS I’ve managed to open a new chapter and look at life from a totally different perspective. Until you lose someone so close, you don’t realise how precious and short life really is."

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24th November

Remember those who are grieving this Christmas

Christmas is a magical time of the year but not everyone will be celebrating the festive season. Last year Fiona Hilderley was remembering her mum, who had died just a few weeks previously at LOROS Hospice. 

Patient Stories

21st August

Emma's story

"Considering she couldn't talk anymore, the nurses were still able to have a chat with her about her wishes, her family, her childhood and her favourite hobby which was gardening. It didn't matter that it took her a while to write down what she wanted to say, everyone gave her the time to be able to do this."

Patient Stories

27th June

Sharon's Story

“It was like walking into a hotel and the care and the warmth was incredible. I immediately felt so comfortable and so did Baz, they took such good care of us.”

LOROS, Groby Road, Leicester LE3 9QE