Rob Howard was given the gift of time when he was admitted to Warwick Myton Hospice.
Time to see his son, Tom, graduate; time to visit his sister who was undergoing treatment for breast cancer; time to enjoy ice cream and fish and chips by the seaside with family; and time to see pupils and colleagues at King Henry VIII School where he was a teacher.
Rob was diagnosed with a Grade 4 brain tumour, and after two surgeries he was no longer able to walk or talk. He spent over a month in hospital recovering.
Thankfully, a bed on Warwick Myton Hospice Inpatient Unit became available for Rob in the March.
The difference in Rob once he was at Myton was huge – his wife Heather remembers a depression being lifted from him while at Myton. His wicked sense of humour, which disappeared while in hospital, had returned, he was able to communicate again and was able to walk short distances thanks to his medication being balanced and the work of the nurses, doctors, and therapy teams.
Rob was discharged in May and spent five weeks surrounded by friends and family.
He was also able to attend weekly day hospice sessions at Myton during those five weeks. Heather could see a difference in him again - he had been stimulated by the company he was in. It also meant time out for both of them, which gave Heather a much-needed boost to be able to care for him at home.
If he hadn’t come to Myton there is no chance he would have been able to see our son graduate. He was also able to award a prize at the Sixth Form award day at King Henry VIII School. His appearance had changed quite a lot so I took him to see his form before the awards day – he had aged considerably, he had lost his hair and the operations had left him with scars. I really feel Myton gave him the gift of time to be able to do those things.
At the end of June, he was readmitted to the Inpatient Unit. His health was deteriorating and he was suffering falls on a daily basis.
His daughter, Alex, was to celebrate her 30th birthday with a picnic but Rob was too ill to attend. Still wanting her dad to be involved in the celebrations, Alex brought a selection of dresses in to show Rob so he could help her choose which to wear to the picnic. He was spending more and more time sleeping but was able to tell Alex which of the potential birthday dresses he preferred.
And in the evenings, the couple’s eldest son, Ben, spent time sitting with Rob. Ben’s twin children were 5 years old at the time, so being able to visit once they were fed and asleep made all the difference.
Rob had quality of life at his end of life – I couldn’t have wished for anything better for him. I consider Rob so lucky to be able to have experienced Myton.
He loved gardening and he loved having a view of the garden from his room on the unit. We took him for walks around the garden in the wheelchair and it was little things like this, which you can do easily if you are well, which helped him to carry on being himself without being defined by his diagnosis.
When I told him it was the end of the school term his whole body relaxed. I think that gave him permission to let go. He was worried about him being ill impacting on his students who were taking exams.
I cannot say a big enough thank you to Myton - they gave Rob time and care with love.
By supporting The Myton Hospices you will help us to continue to be there for people like Rob when they need us most so they can spend valuable time making memories with their loved ones.
is the daily upkeep cost of our relatives accommodation
could fund two hours of specialist nursing care
could fund a child to attend five bereavement counselling sessions
covers the cost of one Myton at Home visit
Your donation is the daily upkeep cost of our relatives accommodation
Your donation could fund two hours of specialist nursing care
Your donation could fund a child to attend five bereavement counselling sessions
Your donation covers the cost of one Myton at Home visit
Every donation helps us to provide quality end of life care