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Rob Kath and daughters

Kath and Rob's Story

Kath was diagnosed with Pulmonary Hypertension and received a heart and lung transplant in 2013 which improved her health and enabled her to travel extensively with her husband, witness her daughter get married and see her two grandchildren born.

In 2021, after many years of fantastic support from Papworth Hospital, Kath was referred to the Hospice. Her husband, Rob, tells their story.

“We went to the Hospice for an introductory meeting with Day Services and could tell straightaway it was an amazing place. I think everyone has prejudice about hospices. I thought it was a place where you go in the last few days of your life, but I was wrong. It quickly became clear that the hospice provides a greater range of services.

"As it happened Kath had remembered that one of our daughter’s school friends mothers worked at the Hospice and at that moment she walked around the corner carrying incontinence pads and we all giggled. Little did we know that she would be helping to arrange the Hospice at Home services for Kath. We were very lucky.

"Having come out of the family feel of Papworth, you’re almost released back into the wild and you don’t know what to do or where to turn for help. However that day, with the great initial meeting and seeing a friendly face that we knew, put the icing on the cake and we left feeling ridiculously happy that we would be supported again.

“When Kath became worse, we arranged for Hospice at Home to help us. They were marvellous and quickly became part of the family, often stopping longer to chat or catch up on the scores when 'Strictly' was on. We had immense support from them - nothing was too much trouble. They are very lovely, dedicated people and I thank them all from the bottom of my heart.

“After a few weeks, Kath experienced breathlessness and was admitted to the Inpatient Unit where they controlled her symptoms. Soon, she was texting pictures to me of her in bed with her breakfast saying ‘this is bliss’. She felt so comfy and safe.

“Kath was discharged and stayed at home for a few weeks before she worsened. We were able to get her back into the Hospice in the same familiar, comfortable room she had been in before. By then, we both knew we were looking at end of life."

Kath passed away on 9th November, with Rob and her daughters by her side.

“You like to think the worst won’t happen, but when it did, it was as perfect as it could possibly have been and we were all there with her, by her side. Importantly, we were given time and space by the Hospice. The reassurance and care was outstanding from start to finish.

“When you speak to the staff you get to know them and they all say they do it because they love it. So for them to get support from people is amazing. Every time I see someone raising money for the Hospice I make sure I donate, because £5 million is a huge amount of money to raise each year. But it’s worth every single penny.”

“Many people have a misconception about Hospices simply being somewhere to go to die, but it’s so much more than that. In just a couple of months we used Day Services, the Inpatient Unit, Hospice at Home and received support from Family Support too. If people are in two minds about whether to approach the Hospice for support, I would say just do it, don’t hesitate.”

Whatever your diagnosis, Garden House Hospice Care will be by your side offering support and care you can rely on throughout your journey. For more information on the support we provide, please click here.

Kath and Rob's story features in the Spring issue of our Open House newsletter, which you can read here.

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