Sara from Roseworthy near Camborne is living with cancer but says she only copes thanks to continuing support from Cornwall Hospice Care. The irony is that when it was first suggested she go to one of the Cornish charity’s hospices, she was horrified. Sara and her husband Nick, are sharing their experiences as part of the project #HospiceStories aimed at helping people understand the work at the two adult hospices run by Cornwall Hospice Care. Their touching story launches today, Monday 18 May.

When Sara first visited St Julia’s Hospice in Hayle she was adamant that she wasn’t staying. She admits she was terrified. But as she began to meet the nursing team she says her opinion changed;

“Everyone made me feel welcome and special and cared for. I felt so scared and yet everyone was doing their utmost to settle us in. Now I feel safe when I’m there thanks to the care and support I receive whenever necessary. As soon as I go through the doors, even if I’m only there on a brief visit, I know everyone is there for me. We’re really grateful. I wouldn’t be here now if we hadn’t had their involvement, they’ve kept me going. We feel that medicine and the power of prayer have been contributing factors, but the care at St Julia’s is the thing that has made me survive and still be here four and a half years on.”

Sara and Nick say Cornwall Hospice Care has also made it easier for their family, including their children, Ben (17) and Charlotte (21), as Nick explains;

“The finality of going in to the hospice was something we were both very concerned about at the time. Now we all feel we are very special to the team at the hospice, we can visit at any time we like, and I can stay with Sara when I need to. We both know that Sara’s condition is a terminal one and that there isn’t a cure for that situation, but actually the best way of feeling better, is to feel listened to, understood, and special and that’s what they provide for us all as a family. In fact we feel we are treated as part of the extended family at the hospice and Ben and Charlotte feel that too.”

Sara says there have been many low times during her journey, but also some moments that have made a difference;

“A couple of Christmases ago I was being and feeling so sick that the slightest smell would trigger it. Friends were lovely, bringing gifts of non-smelly flowers, but Christmas was approaching. Dr Debbie Stevens from Cornwall Hospice Care, sat in our living room discussing how to get round the turkey smell and it was felt the only solution was to barbecue it! In the end we had a very small turkey, turned the heating right up and opened all the windows but we appreciated the advice, like we always do.”