Karen and Barry's story
“When my Dad, Barry John Wainwright, went to LOROS in April 2019, it was such a reassuring experience. After many months of uncertainty and a devastating terminal diagnosis, we finally relaxed a little. Rather than the focus being Dad’s mouth cancer, their approach was much more personal, asking ‘How can we help you feel better? How can we help you enjoy life for as long as possible?'
"Since Dad died, I’ve tried to raise as much money as I can for LOROS, as a way of giving something back to the Hospice, and I know Dad would be proud. This is just one reason why I decided to share my story in support of the Winter Warmer Raffle, in Dad’s memory.
"From me and my family, thank you!"
Being at LOROS meant that we could be Dad and daughter once again
When my Dad, Barry John Wainwright, went to LOROS in April 2019, it was such a reassuring experience. After many months of uncertainty and a devastating terminal diagnosis, we finally relaxed a little. Rather than the focus being Dad’s mouth cancer, their approach was much more personal, asking ‘How can we help you feel better? How can we help you enjoy life for as long as possible?’
Being at LOROS made such a difference to me too, as they seemed to really understand what I was going through. It was like a weight had been lifted. As a family, we felt supported, we enjoyed complementary therapies and counselling, which helped us all a great deal.
As soon as Dad met his doctor at LOROS, he felt listened to and at ease. It was the first time since his diagnosis that he felt that somebody was actually listening to what he had to say.
The day before he died I was sitting with him and crying a little, as I knew he was near the end. He said: “Don’t cry Karen, I don’t want you to be upset.” He was such a caring, positive man, such a good Dad. He always used to say: “You’ve got to enjoy your life as much as you can.”
I wasn’t there when he died, but I think that was what he wanted. He wanted to protect me and be my Dad right until the end.
Since Dad died, I’ve tried to raise as much money as I can for LOROS, as a way of giving something back to the Hospice, and I know Dad would be proud. This is just one reason why I decided to share my story in support of the Winter Warmer Raffle, in Dad’s memory.
From me and my family, thank you!
“You’re my daughter, not my nurse”
My Dad first started getting symptoms almost two years before his diagnosis. It took a long time to obtain a diagnosis, which sadly was cancer of the mouth and secondary lymph nodes in his neck. He endured a 12-hour operation, where he had part of his tongue removed, and a skin graft taken from his arm, to rebuild his tongue. He had two further operations on his lymph nodes, but despite all this, only a few months after his diagnosis, we were given the devastating news that it was terminal. He was 70 years old.
Dad went to LOROS in April 2019. He’d visited the Hospice many years before, when his Dad had prostate cancer. He liked that the nurses and doctors took the time to care for his Dad, he said they were wonderful and always went the extra mile to ensure his Dad was comfortable.
At this time, I worked at the Hospice as a registered nurse, so I already knew how good the care was, it meant that I didn’t have to worry. Dad received all the medication that he needed, but also had access to other important services, such as Day Therapy, Complementary Therapy and Counselling, which really helped him.
It was difficult to work at the Hospice at the same time as Dad being cared for there. I had to take some time off to help me manage the situation. As a nurse I could see that Dad was deteriorating quickly. I could have looked after him at home, but he always said ‘You’re my daughter, not my nurse.’ So he had carers go in to help, whilst at home, as Mum was also in hospital at that time. Being in LOROS meant that we could concentrate on just being Dad and daughter.
Dad liked a drink, so he very much enjoyed the ‘jolly trolley’, which visited the Ward before dinner most days. A little drink helps to simulate the appetite, and it also cheers the patients up too. Dad said it gave him something else to look forward to. It’s just one of the many little things that LOROS does that makes it different to a hospital.
Since losing Dad, I’ve jumped out of a plane for LOROS, and took part in the Tower Run and the Twilight Walk. Our whole family support LOROS when we can. I know how much this would mean to Dad.
LOROS made Dad’s dream come true
My Dad, Barry, was a huge Leicester City fan. He’d been going to matches since he was a kid. He had a season ticket, and never missed a match, but sadly had to give it up when his mobility started to deteriorate. He really wanted to visit his beloved club one last time. Amazingly, LOROS made his dream come true and arranged for him to have a tour around the stadium.
He visited the kit room, the team dressing room, pitch side, and even sat in Brendan’s chair in the dugout and held a LCFC football. It was amazing to see the smile on his face!
LOROS patron and Leicester City legend Alan Birchenall came to visit Dad at the Hospice too. They sat and had a nice chat, not just about football, but other things too. My Dad said they got on so well, he really enjoyed it. The Birch even gave him a signed t-shirt. The visit gave Dad some truly special memories.
I’ve been playing the LOROS raffle and lottery for many years. When I realised I couldn’t sell our booklet of tickets to friends and family due to the pandemic, I decided to buy them all myself!Read Lynda's story