We had the pleasure of talking with David Linton, 84 and his wife, Christine, whilst David was staying on our hospice ward. He was soon to be going back to his home in Mottingham, to the house the couple lived in for 50 years.
David, who was an avid tennis fan (and former competitive player!), met Christine at Exeter University when he was 21 and she was 18. Christine told us that at
first, she found him ‘very irritating’. But he certainly won her over, and the pair celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary with their two children once David got back home.
David told us: “Eight weeks ago I had a normal life. I then found out I had lung cancer. I’d been having trouble walking. At first, we thought it was arthritis, but upon having scans, it turned out to be cancer. It was a shock. I’ve been able to speak to the chaplain who has been in daily. But I take life as it comes.
“When I go home, I’ll have carers come to see me there. It’s been absolutely fantastic; I just can’t believe how kind everyone’s been. Don’t think because it’s called a hospice, it’s the end. The food has been fantastic too; it’s so beautifully presented. If there’s anything to make my appetite return, it’s the food here!”
David spent his last two nights at the hospice, where the team supported him to die peacefully.
Christine went on to tell us: ‘The hugs from the carers, particularly as David was close to dying, were invaluable. The dedication of the home care team made a tremendous difference to us both. They went far beyond the call of duty. You’ll see a photo taken with me and the team – it was less than a day after David died. Four of his home carers called in at the end of their shift to see that I was all right! What an amazing group of ladies. The hospice must be proud!’