Julie Bangs shares how her husband Alf had been ‘the love of her life and best friend’ for 22 years. When he was diagnosed with an aggressive facial cancer, it was a terrible shock to them both.
Alf underwent extensive surgery and reconstruction to his face and had to learn to speak again, eat again and see again. Throughout this time he had Julie by his side, supporting him and giving him the determination to fight his cancer and keep living. Sadly the cancer returned to Alf’s neck and in February 2014 he once again underwent complex surgery, followed by chemotherapy and radiotherapy. By the summer he was feeling very tired and his GP suggested he might have some time at LOROS.
Julie recalls, “We were quite happy with the idea because we had visited friends in LOROS and knew what it was like. I thought he would benefit from some R & R. Even when the Consultant at LOROS suggested Alf have a scan at Glenfield hospital and a tumour on his lung was diagnosed, I had no idea how serious it was.”
“Alf was very poorly and it was one of the LOROS nurses who broke it to me very gently that Alf was actually dying. I will never forget how kind she was the way she talked to me” said Julie, “and the way the nurses treated Alf with such dignity was amazing. They always asked him first before giving any care, such as washing him or giving him medication.” Alf felt safe and cared for at LOROS.
Julie felt that nothing was too much trouble and they not only care for the patients, but also their loved ones. She was offered food and bedding in her husband’s room and even given a massage to help her relax.
Julie recalls, “Even after Alf had passed away, I was told I could stay as long as I needed to and there was no rush. When I came back the next day to see the Bereavement support service, they made an appointment for me to register Alf’s death. Everyone was so kind. Then in February I came for the ‘Time of thanksgiving and Remembrance’ arranged by the Chaplaincy, which was very moving and I am still having counselling which is really helping me.
Julie says, “I would have no hesitation in recommending LOROS to anyone who might need its services. They really do provide 100 per cent care.”