Liz's Story | The Hospice of St. Francis

Liz's Story

“They put me back together and made it ok again.”

Liz, 78 from St Albans, describes how she “couldn’t have been any lower” when she was first referred to the Hospice in mid-August. She has been living with liver cancer since January, for which she chose not to have treatment. Her condition deteriorated about six weeks ago resulting in an admission to A&E, with a collapsed lung and later a chest infection.

“I’ve been transformed. At hospital I just didn’t want to go on any longer. I said to my husband that I just wanted them to let me go.”

Reflecting on her time at the Hospice she shares, “Oh, the nurses – they are my team! They put me back together and made it ok again. They are there with cheery faces to get me going at 7.30am each morning.”

Liz’s husband, Mick, has been able to visit regularly, something which wasn’t permitted whilst in hospital. Liz explains how she found it really difficult, “Alongside the nursing team I really needed my husband to help me through it.”

The Hospice ethos is to help people to live their precious lives well through improving symptoms, achieving personal goals and helping them to feel safe, and Liz reflects, “It’s not just your health that they treat, it’s your whole wellbeing.”

“Alongside the extra oxygen brought in specifically to help my breathing, I’ve had physiotherapy and exercise sessions with Louise (Hospice Rehab team). It’s all part of the jigsaw and it all fits. They’ve given me things to help and support me at home.”

Liz, who worked at Hemel Hospital for 26 years, is preparing to return home and shares, “I just can’t wait to get home, and get home feeling well. It’s not just about getting better, it’s how they do it. I’ll be able to see my great-grand daughter next week.”

During her stay Liz discussed the possibility of corneal donation, something offered through the Hospice, “They can’t use a lot of me but I’ve spoken to the doctor about corneal donation.”

She concludes, “I wish more people could experience the care I have – it has made a huge difference.”