Stuart Kenney

Sharon Kenney was just 54 when she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Sharon’s husband of 36 years, Stuart, said that LOROS offered support just when they needed it most.

Sharon and Stuart

“It was the biggest bombshell of my life, my wife Sharon being told she had just a few months to live. But when Becky, our LOROS Nurse arrived, she was like a guardian angel.”

Sharon Kenney was just 54 when she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Sharon’s husband of 36 years, Stuart, said that LOROS offered support just when they needed it most.

“After we finally got her diagnosis we went home and just sat there wondering ‘what happens next?’ Sharon was taking painkillers but she was still really uncomfortable. We didn’t know what to do or where to turn.”

A few days later, the LOROS Community Nurse Specialist nurse arrived and within five minutes the situation started to improve.

“She was a total stranger but seemed to understand everything we were going through. She made us feel that we mattered. She put the world back as it should be.

“Becky started to put things right immediately. She got Sharon the pain relief she needed. She spoke to her GP too - it took so much pressure off me. She just showed so much kindness and compassion.

A month later after a bout of chemotherapy Sharon came into the Hospice for a few days. “Our other CNS nurse, Tracey, asked if she’d like to come into the hospice for pain management as the chemo had upset everything.

“It felt almost like we’d booked a holiday! We had a nice little room – we felt so lucky. The nurses invited me to stay which was a huge relief. Every nurse, doctor and consultant was just amazing. Each consultant knew all about her, we didn’t have to go through everything all over again.

“They sorted out her medication and made her comfortable but it was the kindness that overwhelmed me.”

“I was still able to care for her – I helped her have a bath and washed and dried her hair. It was just how we wanted things to be. The nurses were all so kind that Sharon kept thanking them.”

“We were very close. In the 43 years we’d been together we’d only been separated half a dozen nights or so.”

After a week, Sharon went home but returned when things took a turn for the worse a few weeks later. Sharon had her own room and Stuart reported they felt very reassured to have the warmth and comfort of being in the hospice.

On 18th March Sharon celebrated her 55th birthday whilst at LOROS.

“We had prosecco and birthday cake – we packed 10 people into her room to celebrate! It was lovely.”

Five days later Sharon went home. Stuart recalled, “She began to feel very tired and sleep a lot. She said she felt different. I stayed with her and she died peacefully a few days later. It was devastating.”

Before she died, Stuart and Sharon had attended counselling. “After she died it dawned on me that Sharon had encouraged me to go so I would carry on attending sessions after she’d gone. I’m a bit of a bloke and I think she set me up so I would have to talk to someone.”

Stuart also attends a fortnightly support group at the Hospice and has bought a leaf to hang on the memory tree that is in the Hospice garden. “Sharon loved her garden at home so it was really fitting to leave a memory in the LOROS garden.”

“Kindness is important but you don’t realise how important until you’re faced with no hope. LOROS is an amazing place full of amazing people and it is filled with kindness.”