In July, terminally ill Sue Ryder patient Richard Tuck wrote a letter urging people to donate to help Sue Ryder continue providing the services he received. Richard passed away on 16 November, below is his letter.
My name’s Richard.
I’m 65 and I’m dying. It’s hard, but I’m OK. I don’t have long – so I’ll be quick.
I don’t have long to tell you about my experiences of Sue Ryder
. About how nothing’s ever too much trouble for the staff. Or how they came to see me at home when I first was diagnosed. And now that I need them more, they never stop helping – at the centre, on the phone, coming to the house at 7am. All to make me more comfortable in my last days and months.
I don’t have long to talk about how they’ve cared for me and my wife. They’ve given her help with everyday practical things, shown her how to help get me out of bed without hurting herself, but also offered counselling, coffee and chats and reflexology sessions. Like they say, it’s not just about me: there’s the two of us on this journey. And they’ve made that journey much more bearable.
I don’t have long. And nor do Sue Ryder.
Everyone knows that times have been tough recently with the austerity measures we’ve all heard loads about – and it’s affected Sue Ryder too. Sadly, they now face a shortfall in income which means that they might have to cut their care.
I can’t imagine how you could get rid of any of the staff. And I can’t bear to think of them cutting the number of people they help either – or the extra services they offer relatives, like family rooms or counselling for kids who’ve lost a parent. It’s awful.
I don’t have long, so it won’t affect me. Two years ago I was looking forward to spending a few years in
retirement. But that’s not to be. Coming here, you realise you’re not the only one – or the youngest one – and what’s round the corner can happen to anyone. So I have to do something.
This isn’t about me, it’s about those who come after me. That’s why I agreed to write this letter.
I’ll do whatever I can to make sure they can get the care I’ve had – so they never feel alone or scared or in pain. I want to help so that more people like me can be in a place where they can feel truly cared for. A place to spend their last days with dignity.
I don’t have long. And nor do you. Unless Sue Ryder can raise the money they need by the end of the year, they’ll face that dreadfully difficult decision about which services to cut.
Any amount can help, so please make a donation today – before it’s too late.