'Eternally grateful to Rowcroft for giving Lindy opportunity to be home with family one last time'

Woman next to car

Lyndy Sobey - Credit: Submitted

My wife, Lyndy Sobey from Paignton, had been alone in Derriford Hospital, Plymouth, when she was given the devastating news that her oesophageal cancer had spread and was now incurable. She gave me the news via a text message. She realised she had very little time left and this wretched pandemic meant I could not be there with her.

In a move to help Lyndy and the family make the most of precious time, Rowcroft’s Hospice at Home team pulled out all the stops to help her transfer out of hospital and back into the warm embrace of her family home where she was able to live out her final days with loved ones by her side. I had always thought that I would step off the edge first and so finding the super fit Lyndy with a terminal diagnosis was simply devastating.

The terrible news about Lyndy’s cancer was heart-breaking for the whole family and even more crushing as we could not be there with her due to COVID restrictions. We wanted to get her out of hospital as soon as possible so that she could spend her remaining time with the family, but it was so difficult to do this because she was in a vulnerable state and Derriford had to balance her complex needs. It was Rowcroft who set the wheels in motion, telling us that their Hospice at Home team could care for Lyndy at home. This was indeed music to our ears.

The Hospice at Home team came to the house day and night, staying with Lyndy to keep her as comfortable as possible, enabling her to spend the final days in the place where she had lived for over forty years – a home full of happy memories. It meant so much to have Lyndy at home. I could lie next to her on the bed and the family were all there for her too.

The Rowcroft team were an amazing group of people doing an incredibly difficult job. I called them ‘angels in a Rowcroft uniform’! They were so professional, compassionate, knowledgeable and kind; we had total confidence in them. They would come in a few times a day, and it was such a relief when they arrived. They would check that everything was okay and reassure us, answering all our questions. The strength and support that they gave us was invaluable. It meant that we could relax and give 100% to Lyndy.

We didn’t need to worry about Lyndy’s care, as they took care of that; we could just focus on being able to spend quality time with her. The team helped with pain relief and feeding, and used a syringe driver to administer medicine at a constant rate in order to keep her comfortable and pain-free.

A member of the team also spent each night with us, looking after Lyndy and helping us with the scary night-time journey.

Most Read

Just before Lyndy died, my eldest had been planning to go home for the night as we hadn’t realised, she was nearing the end. But the Rowcroft nurse advised him to stay; she knew Lyndy didn’t have long. He says that if he had gone home, he would never have forgiven himself, and can never repay Rowcroft for giving him the opportunity to be with his mother when she passed away. In the early dawn hours, the nurse alerted the rest of the family too, so that we could all be with Lyndy when she passed away.

I had my head on the pillow next to her as she floated away.

While it was so traumatic to say goodbye to Lyndy, we are eternally grateful to Rowcroft for giving her the opportunity to be at home with the family one last time. We will be forever thankful that she was surrounded by her family when she passed away. There couldn’t be a better way to die.