Rob was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a blood cancer affecting white blood cells, in June 2017 and was referred to the Rennie Grove hospice at home service shortly after. Following a period of remission then an aggressive relapse, Rob died peacefully at home in February 2018. Sue, Rob’s wife, explains how the Rennie Grove overnight team made that possible.
“I remember lying down near Rob (he was in a hospital bed in our room with our bed pushed up against the wall so I could still be near him) and putting on The Sound of Music for a bit of comfort. Suddenly Rob was violently sick. It was around 10:45pm. My brother and sister-in-law were staying and they came in to help me clear up and settle Rob again. But he started to get angry. None of us had ever seen him like this. We couldn't hear what he was saying and he was so agitated. Neither my brother nor I could reach him. I felt totally hopeless, helpless and distraught.
“I rang the Rennie Grove overnight team and it was absolutely the best thing I could have done. I know they were busy that night, but I never once felt that I was in a queue or not a priority. They came to us as soon as they could and they were amazing. It wasn't just the kind, efficient care they gave Rob - sedating him so he could be comfortable - but they knew exactly the right thing to say at precisely the right time.
“From unbearable anxiety, anger, distress and agitation - they helped us all feel at peace again. They restored my confidence; they explained what I should expect next and they made an awful, traumatic situation bearable. I was able to wrap my arms round Rob again and know he was at peace now.
“Rennie Grove's hospice at home nurses came back three or four times that night - in the space of a few hours. I never asked them to return - they just knew it was what we needed. They were so lovely - our angels of the night.”
Sue, wife of Rennie Grove patient