Russell's story

"There are no words to describe how wonderful Sue Ryder was to Joan”


Russell Barter recalls his wife Joan's experience of Hospice at Home care

“After a trip to South Africa, Joan went downhill rapidly. She had no get up and go, and spent most of the time in bed. She didn’t play bridge or croquet any more but she was very kind to me. I got her meals and we managed okay. But she didn’t want to eat much at all.”

 Joan’s GP put the couple in touch with Sue Ryder, opening up a conversation about how Joan wished to receive our care.

“Joan was reluctant at first because she thought Sue Ryder was where you went to die – we both thought that. But I realise now that isn’t the case at all. There are no words to describe how wonderful Sue Ryder was to Joan – and to me. They cared for us both, and I am very grateful.”

Leckhampton Court Hospice’s Hospice at Home service cared for the couple, allowing Joan and Russell to take control of the decision-making towards the end of life.

“The Sue Ryder staff were very caring and they worked seamlessly with the district nurse and Joan’s GP on providing care and pain-relief. They made Joan comfortable, dealt with her stoma bag and assisted with her personal care.

“We couldn’t have coped without their twice-a-day visits”

“They really came to love my wife and wanted to do their best for her. They showed great respect and were very, very caring indeed. They also worried about me – whether I was eating and sleeping properly, which was kind of them. Always reliable and there when we needed them, they never let us down once, even when we were late once coming back from our son’s house. I was so grateful that they waited. 

“It was very much personalised care and geared towards meeting my wife’s needs. They got involved with my wife and shared a lot of stories together. She gave some sage advice on love lives, swapped books, and even helped solve knitting problems. Sometimes, once they made her comfortable, they would just chat. As well as being comforting for Joan, it was also good for me as I could have a little break.

Compassionate care for all involved

“I needed a hip replacement and kept putting it off as I knew how immobilised I would be by it and how this would affect Joan’s care. But I needn’t have worried as the Sue Ryder carers worked very well with my own carer - a lovely South African lady that we met through croquet.

“Joan was admitted to the general hospital at one stage, and I was worried that when she was discharged we would have problems starting up the Sue Ryder service again. But again I needn’t have worried as the care was seamless. It was great to see the same faces as this greatly helped with Joan’s quality of care.

It was Joan’s wish to die at home. Sue Ryder helped her to do so peacefully"

The care Sue Ryder provides is out of this world and I am so grateful for what they did. Words can’t express how wonderful Sue Ryder have been.”


How Hospice at Home could help your loved one