Robin shares his story about what it's like to lose a loved one to a life-limiting illness, and the support Trinity provided during such a difficult time. 

"What started with polymyalgia in 2012 was then compounded with prostate cancer.

In December 2013, Colin’s Parkinson’s diagnosis came through. For a man of Colin’s renowned intellect and knowledge, it was a heavy blow. His ability to earn was now lost as he was slowly losing the ability to read or write, but he bore this myriad of ailments with immense courage, never complaining.

I remember us both sitting in the consulting rooms at Golden Square, me listening with a heavy heart being informed Colin was also found to be suffering with MSA (multiple system atrophy) and that his body would eventually shut down.

This, along with a diagnosis of postural hypotension meant that at any time Colin got out of bed, walked to the bathroom, he could black out. To begin with, his body would go rigid for 30 seconds, but then the collapsing started with him not just blacking out but also dropping to the floor. Then the final Lewy Body’s Syndrome topped it all off.

From the moment we had these diagnoses and from attending the relevant specialists, I made it my job to look after him as best I could and organise the care he needed.

After a ten week spell in St Mary’s Roehampton followed by a short stay in a private nursing home, which gave me the time to look for a flat in Battersea to rent and find supplemental care, we moved into a lovely first floor flat with wonderful river views and a lift so Colin could get out and enjoy the fresh air.

I surrounded Colin with all those familiar things that made this change in his life bearable.

2018 started badly, with a spell in January in hospital with a sepsis infection, which he fought valiantly but the deterioration was now noticeable, he was painfully thin.

In July I spoke to Juliette, who came to see us and after a discussion, made the necessary arrangements to move him to Trinity.

I went away for the weekend to clear my head and make the decision to have him moved which I knew would be a trial even though he wasn’t really with it: his body had started shutting down a few weeks earlier.

He was moved to Trinity on the 5 August to a lovely room overlooking the garden at the back with a balcony.

I sat by his bedside holding his hand, reading to him and talking to him, with Archie our dog at my feet. I’d go and have lunch at the café and take Archie for a walk on the common.

The team that looked after him was all completely amazing and calm – something I needed, as despite the fact I had been living with this for nearly 5 years, my emotions were raw.

I was kept informed each day at every stage of the last days of his life and, if necessary, how he had been throughout the night.

He died peacefully on August 11 2018. I can’t tell you now much of a difference Trinity made to - certainly - my life, and I know they did far more than I ever could have done to make his approaching death as comfortable as could be.

A big thank you to everyone at Trinity."

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