‘Weldmar took away the worry’ – Edwin and Ann’s story
“They are a fantastic service – everyone should know about Weldmar”
Edwin Parsons had two huge passions in his life – his family, and the countryside.
Born in Wiltshire in 1942, Edwin began a lifelong career in agriculture at the age of fifteen. For thirty years, home was his ‘happy place’ – the family farm in Broadchalk, where he and Ann spent thirty years with their children, and later grandchildren.
He was a hard worker, and it wasn’t unusual for him to work very long days, determined to provide for his family.
Things changed in 2004 when Edwin was diagnosed with cancer. The timing coincided with his daughter Paula setting up home with new husband Spike in Bridport, and the decision was taken for Edwin to retire and for he and Ann to move to the Dorset town to be with them. Edwin, Paula, Ann and Spike are pictured above.
Living in Bridport, and in partial remission, Edwin was able to enjoy the countryside, the seaside, and being close to his family. He loved the family gatherings where he would listen to the stories of his grandchildren’s endeavours, and later of his great-grandchildren too. He could work in the garden, and enjoy the local wildlife.
Sadly, in 2016 the cancer returned, and that’s when Weldmar Hospicecare came into their lives.
“They are a fantastic service”, says Ann, “Everyone should know about Weldmar”.
Which is why Ann, Paula, and Spike have decided to share Edwin’s story with us.
“We were advised that it was terminal and Dad only had months, not years to live,” Paula told us. “Weldmar came to visit us very soon after he came out of hospital to discuss what was on offer and what support would be there down the line”.
And the support was not only for Edwin. Right from the start, it was for the family too. For instance, there was a carer’s allowance arranged for Ann, and a blue badge for their car.
“I didn’t know about any of this”, explains Ann, who says Weldmar was the gel that held together all the different aspects of care. “All I needed to do was sign my name on the forms, and it was all done. We wouldn’t have had any of it if Weldmar hadn’t explained what we were entitled to”.
Edwin was a private and independent man, and Ann says they helped him to help himself during his illness. “It amazed me how he responded to them”, adds Ann, “he understood that they were there to help. The Occupational Therapist was brilliant, she would sit and chat with Edwin, and was very reassuring. When we needed help, it was there. They sorted the equipment that was needed. They were quick, and thorough”.
Paula says the support they had as a family was invaluable. “From when we first had contact with Weldmar, they were then ringing or visiting regularly, just to check out how Dad was, and how Mum was managing. They also offered advice on medication, which was very reassuring, and gave us the confidence to know what we could give Dad”.
Ann continues, “It was all gently done, and explained, and that there was equipment available, and that there was the hospice if we weren’t able to cope. We would have felt isolated if it wasn’t for Weldmar”.
“It’s a fantastic service – you can’t get any better – it’s amazing that a charity can provide so much support”.
Weldmar Hospicecare provides 80% of all it’s care in the community, allowing patients to stay at home with loved ones to the end. Find out more here.