“You don’t need to worry about going into the hospice”
This is Melvyn's story.
Melvyn Wright from Bridport is someone who just doesn’t give up.
He has been admitted to our in-patient unit at Joseph Weld Hospice on three occasions, and each time he’s beaten the odds and made it home again.
“On good days I even think about buying a new motorbike!”, jokes Melvyn.
Motorcycling was a life long passion for Melvyn, who loved adventure. He sailed his own boat most of the way around England and over to France, and also loved scuba diving and potholing.
Sadly, the active lifestyle had to come to an end when he became poorly.
Melvyn has Chronic Obstruction Pulmonary Disorder – a lung condition that affects his breathing – he also has problems with his heart.
Following two years of treatment under his General Practitioner and the Hospital Respiratory Team, Melvyn was referred to Weldmar Hospicecare, and was visited at home by Weldmar Community Nurse Specialist Helen Lewis. Helen works closely with Assistant Practitioner Sarah Hunter.
On one visit Sarah was worried about Melvin so she discussed her concerns with Helen and the Weldmar Doctors. Together they recommended Melvyn go into the hospice.
“I was anxious at first,” says Melvyn, “I thought everyone’s had a go at making me feel better, and now it’s Weldmar’s turn. I only went into the hospice the first time because I had to, but if I knew then what I know now, I would have gone in straight away.”
“The care is tremendous. The way you’re treated is wonderful. Everyone’s so nice, it just makes you feel better. Just that feeling that you can touch that button and help will be there.”
“I was treated so good and I felt safe. I would say to anyone who is asked to go in – ‘don’t worry because there’s nothing to worry about – if there’s a solution to your problem, they’ll find it’.”
Melvyn didn’t expect to go home following that first visit. “Going into the hospice saved my life. The doctors were all superb, they were all concerned about me.”
His positive reaction to the treatment meant he was well enough to go home, and on two occasions since, he’s been admitted back into the hospice and defied the odds to go home again. It surprised everyone, not least his friends at the British Legion who had started to talk about putting on an event to remember him at the church. “But here I am, back again!” he chuckles.
Sarah visits him every Wednesday at home in Bridport, and Melvyn says help is available anytime through the 24 hour patient advice line. “I can pick up the phone anytime and ask for help, so I don’t need to worry. Sarah is very good, she’ll sit with me and chat and discuss things, and reassures me. She’ll stay as long as she needs too, she doesn’t watch the clock”.
Whilst many people think Weldmar Hospicecare is only there for people with cancer, we are in fact committed to looking after anyone in the last year of their life who has specialist needs, just like Melvyn.