“The Hospice Truly Is A Home From Home”

Ann, 70, recently stayed in our specialist in-patient unit. Read Ann's story as she shares her experience on the care and support she has received at Teesside Hospice.

“My name’s Ann and I’m from Middlesbrough originally. I worked for a doctor's surgery for the last 20 years which I’ve absolutely loved. However, I'm 70 now, so at 68 I decided it was time to retire, which I have done. Unfortunately as i've retired, the blooming big C came back.

In 2007, going back 17 years, I went for my first mammogram. Of course when you go for your first mammogram you never dream that you’re going to have cancer, but off I went and they called me back and sure enough there it was.

Unfortunately in 2016, I went with a pain in the same side that I had already had done, but the very clever nurse looked at the other side and decided that it wasn’t right. So I had another mammogram, and unfortunately we lost that one as well, so that was two lots, both found by mammograms, so how important are they? If I hadn't gone for them, I don't think I'd be here now.

I've come back to the hospice because I got pretty well down in just 2 weeks, everything seemed to crumble. I didn’t know which way was up, and I started to go to the crafts club in Redcar. We don't have to come here to the hospice, people who live in Redcar, we have our own little group that we can go to which is fantastic. It's on a Monday, it's just 2 hours but it's absolutely life saving. I live on my own, and I went there and talked to other people and straight away I felt better. The girls and staff who run it are just out of this world. There's a nurse, a crafter and a lady who gives massages, and honestly it's just a little bit of heaven.”

Last year, our wellbeing team supported 216 patients just like Ann, through tailored programmes and classes to help people feel better and do more.

“Without going there, I wouldn't be here now, because I stopped going, and they knew there was something wrong with me not going, so they kept ringing me saying are you alright Anne? I kept fibbing really and saying yes I’m fine, but really I wasn’t fine.

I haven't got words for this place. It’s honestly so wonderful. They opened their door to me, and I felt a hug as soon as I came in. As soon as they opened the door I felt warmth, and love. I can only explain it as love, as love is a really big word.

I was quite poorly when I came in, but the medical side of it is absolutely fantastic. I've seen a doctor every single day for five weeks, and that is something isn't it. They are brilliant, they won't let anything go, and if you ask a question they will give you the answer. It's so quick and efficient. I was in lots of pain, and overnight I lost the pain which is absolutely amazing.

The doctors, they're not just doctors, they're like special people, I can't explain it. One doctor, he just sat there and held my hand and that's all I need.

From the cleaner to the doctor, I don't think these people know how special they are. I think they are hand picked, they don't just come here, they are picked, because each one of them has a lovely heart, and they pass it onto you.”

From 2023-2024, our In-Patient Unit cared for 150 people living with a terminal illness, providing specialist support to patients and their families.

“At 70 you don't imagine making new friends, and the ladies I met at the wellbeing group have already texted me this morning saying how are you, and it's absolutely fantastic, which has only just come from that little club. If it wasn't for the wellbeing club I would never have met them.

One nice thing was, we have hand massages and arm massages, and they've managed to get a special chair, so that we feel as though we are in the same treatment as everybody else. Before, we sat on a wooden chair with a pillow, but now we've all got a special chair that they bring with them which makes us feel special, and this is where the money goes - it's a small thing but it means so much to us.

The only way I can describe my experience here is that it is heaven on earth here at the hospice. It's a privilege that I feel to be here and it truly is a home from home.”

We take referrals from GPs, Consultants, hospital staff, Macmillan Nurses, Community Nurses and other Specialist Nurses. If you feel you may benefit from our care, please talk to one of these healthcare professionals, to find out how we can support you and your loved ones.


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