Chris Bird

One of the best things was that we knew he was safe there and he didn’t mind us going, he felt so comfortable at LOROS; and we never felt guilty for leaving him.

Ray Bird It was back in August 2008 when Ray was first diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease. We had been staying with friends and he was carrying a tray of drinks when he suddenly dropped them. We didn’t know things like that started happening.

Gradually, things got worse and he wasn’t able to do even the littlest of things, like doing up his tie or doing up buttons.

To be honest, it was quite a shock when he was diagnosed. We weren’t expecting to be told Ray had a terminal illness, especially MND. From then on, life fast became about Ray and him having MND.

But he lasted seven years in total, despite doctors telling him he could only have 18 months. We didn’t know much about MND at first and people didn’t really talk about having a terminal illness back then; not as much as they do now anyway. We just knew there was no cure.

We came into contact with LOROS through our MND nurse and it was then that our lives changed immensely. We didn’t know a lot about LOROS at the time; we definitely didn’t know about all the different services they offered. But as soon as we got there, we just felt safe and we were immediately given the support we needed. They gave us help, real help.

It was just wonderful. Chris Bird

Ray got on so well with the doctors; in fact, he got on well with all the staff at LOROS. He used to sing a lot and he belonged to a male voice choir; he was able to continue singing, which was his passion, thanks to the team in Day Therapy. Everyone was so lovely there, even the volunteer drivers, they too were so pleasant.

He was also able to meet others in similar position to him. Plus, going to Day Therapy gave me that time to go and get my hair cut, or do the shopping; the little things that you take for granted but we were stopped from doing as much because of Ray having MND.

Ray also had a lot of pain in his neck and the physiotherapists at LOROS helped him with that. Being at LOROS relieved the pressure, for both of us.

Even when Ray was poorly, he always had a smile on his face. He never lost his smile and I was so proud of him for that. He never lost hope. He was determined to fight it; he didn’t want to give in to MND.

LOROS meant everything to us. He wanted to die at the Hospice and fortunately, we were able to find him a bed there. He had his own room and the nurses brought him in a CD player, so he could listen to music.

We knew he was safe there and despite the situation we were in, it was as good as it could’ve been.

Ray and Chris Bird

One of the best things was that we knew he was safe there and he didn’t mind us going, he felt so comfortable at LOROS; and we never felt guilty for leaving him.

We’d been married for 55 years when he died at LOROS last year, at the age of 81. It was his 82nd birthday two days later.

The support from LOROS didn’t stop when he died either. I was still looked after, through the complementary therapy team and the chaplaincy staff.

LOROS will always have a huge place in our hearts. We will forever be grateful for everything they did for him, me and my family.