'Thank you for being there when we needed you most'

PUBLISHED: 12:11 17 October 2009 | UPDATED: 14:33 06 May 2010

A POIGNANT letter has been given to Grove House from a patient who believes he owes his life to the St Albans hospice. The cancer-sufferer wrote a moving thank you letter in which he admits the very thought of such a hospice instantly evoked negative feel

A POIGNANT letter has been given to Grove House from a patient who believes he owes his life to the St Albans hospice.

The cancer-sufferer wrote a moving thank you letter in which he admits the very thought of such a hospice instantly evoked negative feelings within him - but his actual experience couldn't have been more different.

The letter speaks volumes about the importance of funding for Grove House, which will ensure the future care for other local people with cancer and life-threatening illness.

The patient said: "Three years ago my wife and I were struggling physically, mentally and emotionally to come to terms with my cancer. We had no experience with such an illness, what we might expect or how we might cope. It was quite clear to our Macmillan nurse that we were not coping at all and she suggested we make use of the services offered by Grove House Hospice.

Sanctuary

"The mere mention of the word hospice has the ability to send a cold chill down the spine of most people. For us it had the same effect. It felt as if we had been asked to give up the challenge before we'd started."

Instead, he found sanctuary at the hospice where supportive, caring, understanding and undaunted staff pulled him through the darkest days of his life.

He continued: "Everyone at Grove House contributed to my well-being and made time to spend with me - to sit with me and listen to my fears and to feel the pain I was feeling. All of these actions were performed without a second thought and not merely as a matter of duty, but because everyone at Grove House has time for others who need it and go out of their way to make time for patients.

"It is impossible to quantify in economic terms the value of the services provided at Grove House. I think it is better to quantify the cost of not providing such a service. Patients like me would not be writing a thank you letter, because I believe I would not be here to write such a letter, I would be long gone."

He added: "Instead of planning for the end, my wife and I are now living life on a day-to-day basis, much more able to cope and assimilate the impact if the illness on our lives. Thank you for being there when we needed you most.

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