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“Neither of us realised just how involved the Hospice can be. For me, it was somewhere you go towards the end, and I never understood how much support there is available. I’ve called them at my absolute lowest, when I’ve been sobbing on the floor and they’ve been amazing at caring for us as a whole family."
Bob and his eldest children at Christmas in Santa hats smiling.

When a persistent cough turned out to be small call Stage 4 lung cancer, dad-of-four Bob, 49, and his fiancée Emma turned to St Clare Hospice for support. The couple live with their young children, Freddie and Ava and have two grown-up children, Jayleigh and Bradley.

“For weeks and week and weeks, Bob couldn’t shake this cough that just wouldn’t go away. And then one night, we thought he was having a heart attack and we called an ambulance. He was taken to hospital with a suspected chest infection where an x-ray showed he had a shadow on his lung.  

“He started antibiotics but he just didn’t feel right and after lots of backwards and forwards to the doctors he was eventually sent for blood tests. When the results came back we were told they thought it was cancer, and things just spiralled from there.  

“Even before it was confirmed, Bob knew something wasn’t right. His bones hurt, his muscles hurt and he even began telling people he had cancer before we knew for sure.

“The cancer had spread to pretty much everywhere and we were told it was terminal. To hear that news has been really hard for all of us. Telling the younger two children what was happening was especially hard; that was a very difficult conversation to have with them.  

“But having the support of St Clare Hospice has been a godsend. Sam, one of the Hospice’s Clinical Nurse Specialists, has been out to us at home to help Bob with his meds because he had been in a lot of pain. He was really suffering and in a lot of distress and when you’re trying to deal with that on top of everything else, it feels impossible. But, she came round and did a great job sorting out the right medication to make him a lot more comfortable. So just the difference that has made has been amazing.  

“Neither of us realised just how involved the Hospice can be. For me, it was somewhere you go towards the end, and I never understood how much support there is available. I’ve called them at my absolute lowest, when I’ve been sobbing on the floor and they’ve been amazing at caring for us as a whole family. Everyone has been so supportive and I really don’t think we’d be coping so well otherwise. I think we’d be really struggling, with Bob still in a lot of pain and us not knowing where to turn to for help. 

“Having St Clare involved, has taken a lot of that struggle away. It’s made things easier in a lot of ways when we didn’t have a clue what we were supposed to do, or who we ask for help. It’s been an absolute lifeline.” – Emma, fiancée of St Clare patient Bob. 

Emma, Bob’s fiancée


Bob died, surrounded by family and friends at the Inpatient Unit in April 2024.

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