"I waited for ages to ask for help and when it came, it came in bucket loads."

My husband Peter was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2011. He did very well for quite a long time – our lives were quite normal. It wasn’t until 3 years later when life became more and more difficult. He was diagnosed as being in the early stages of dementia and the cancer began to spread.

I was caring for Peter on my own but I was getting more and more tired. Despite the support of our amazing GP, District Nurses, a Trinity clinical nurse specialist (CNS) and an Occupational Therapist, he began to fall more and it became very difficult to leave the house.

One day the Trinity CNS, Isatta, reminded me that help was available and I didn’t have to battle on my own. She referred Peter to the Wandsworth Care Coordination Service and immediately they arranged for a Marie Curie nurse to provide overnight care. This allowed me to sleep and was a great relief.

Quickly it became apparent that more help was required. The District Nurse liaised with the service and that same day one of the coordinators, Lucy, called to say a hospital bed would be delivered that night and 24 hour care would begin the following day. It was amazing.

Over the next few weeks, I spoke often with the Coordination Team. Calling 111 was never straightforward so it was a great comfort to know that the Care Coordination Team were at the end of the telephone.

"The team was warm and gentle, and never let us down."

We received an increasing amount of support from the End of Life Community Nurse, Gilly. One day, she visited us and advised us that Peter had gone downhill and that he had days rather than weeks left. This gave me time to call my children.

His death was perfect in as much as a death can be. Our two children and I were there with him at home - it was very peaceful, very special.

Peter always told me he wanted to die at home and it is very nice for me to know we could carry out his wishes. The coordination team played a huge part in this, I don’t know what it would have been like without them." 

Find out more about our Wandsworth End of Life Care Coordination Service

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