Dennis and Ken were admitted to our Inpatient Unit at the start of this year and as soon as they met a lovely friendship was formed.
“We look out for each other and it’s just a nice feeling. We are in a similar boat as we’ve both lost our wives and I think we’ve both suffered great loneliness even though we’ve got our families,” explained Dennis.
75-year-old Dennis from Brereton Heath was diagnosed with terminal Leukaemia just before Christmas and arrived at the Hospice on 2nd January. Just a few days later he was joined on the ward by Ken and the pair hit it off immediately.
Ken said: “It was strange how easy we could talk to each other. You can’t always talk to family because you’re too emotionally involved. So we’ve laughed together and we’ve cried together and it has been a huge comfort and support for us both.”
The two men have shared their chosen tipples of a whiskey and a ginger ale on the ward and have enjoyed evenings watching football together. Dennis added: “Because of our situation we haven’t got time to pussyfoot around all the normal ways of making friends with someone so we just started being very open with one another. We’ve decided that we’re both going to be positive and we’re going to enjoy what time we’ve got with our family and friends.”
Within five days of arriving on the ward, Ken had put on nearly a stone in weight. The 71-year-old, who has prostate cancer which has spread to his bones, said: “I’ve started a new drug regime and the difference it has made has been unbelievable. Before I came in here, oh dear, I did suffer with the pain. The support has been first class, unbelievable. You can’t find words to explain the care and attention you receive.”
Dennis added: “I came through those double doors and I was just welcomed immediately by the doctors, nurses and carers. There was a chap sat on the ward and he said ‘you know you’ve won the Lottery coming in here don’t you? It’s brilliant!’ The difference is that in hospital I was looked after as a first class patient, here I am looked after as a first class person. Thank you St Luke’s for looking after us. Full praise!”
Since talking to us Dennis and Ken have both left the Hospice – Dennis has chosen to go into a care home and Ken has returned to his home in Audlem. They have exchanged phone numbers and will continue to support each other.