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Bill’s Story
Bill’s Story

When Bill first came to stay at our Inpatient Unit (IPU) at Michael Sobell House he was struggling with breathlessness and felt very unwell. Having had a heart attack and struggling with respiratory symptoms, he and his daughter were preparing themselves for his end of life journey. However, through support from the Hospice Team, Bill returned home on Tuesday 26th July 2023. Bill spoke to our Communications Officer on the day of his discharge about his experience on our IPU. Read Bill’s story below.

“Before I came to the Hospice I didn’t realise how ill I actually was. A nurse suggested that I come here and at first I was really reluctant. I don’t like hospitals and I thought the Hospice would be like that. But my daughter, Michelle, said that we should go have a look, see what it’s like and then make a decision.

“I was so surprised when we first arrived! It was lovely. I thought, ‘that doesn’t look like a hospital’. The vibe of the place was just so different. So, I said that I would give it a try. 

“I’ve been here for five weeks now and when I first arrived I was like a wet doll, I was just lifeless and was really very close to death. But the people here they’re so excellent, I can’t even describe what they have done. I’ve never been treated like this before. I couldn’t believe it.

“When I’ve been in the hospital before, I’ve always said to the doctor, ‘get me home, I want to go home’. But here, I know I am being discharged today, but in one way I want to go home and in another way I don’t! It’s so excellent here.

“Yesterday, I said to Michelle: what am I doing here, there’s nothing wrong with me, I don’t feel ill. And that shows how they have brought me from death’s door to how I am now. I am still a bit short of breath but they’ve told me to just put my hand up if I’m struggling and to stop and just focus on myself for a bit.

“I can’t praise this place enough, to me it’s unbelievable.”

“I can’t describe how good these people have been, from the cleaners to everyone. The chef has been outstanding, the food is wonderful. I will eat nearly everything because it’s all lovely. When my daughter comes to visit me, sometimes she comes for lunch, and once when she came he cooked a lunch with chips and I’ve never tasted chips like it! I said to my daughter: ‘you better learn how to cook chips like this!’ I can’t praise this place enough, to me it’s unbelievable.

“Everyone here knows me and will call me Bill, it just feels a very normal place to be. Even with something like having a shower, which felt embarrassing the first time being helped, but they put my mind at rest. Now I’ll ask, ‘can I have a shower’. Everything is like that here, nothing feels strange. Everyone is just very calming and reassuring. I will look forward to coming back here and visiting everyone because I just love the place.   

“I’m going home today because I need to sort some things out and I know that I’m going to die at some point, but I suppose in one way I feel quite lucky because it doesn’t worry me. And I know that when the time comes I want to come back here for the last couple of days, because everyone is so wonderful and I want to go in a nice quiet way.”


Matron Carol stands with a woman in a blue sari in our gardens at Lansdowne House

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