A COURAGEOUS couple living with cancer have praised the “remarkable” support of St Richard’s Hospice.
Max and Val Trundle, from Hawford, are both 82 and have been married for almost 60 years but the pair have been receiving help from the hospice after they were individually diagnosed with the disease.
Max, who ran a furnishing business, found out he had prostate cancer ten years ago and was given six to eight years to live. He has since undergone five sessions of intensive radiotherapy and one of chemotherapy.
“We were surprised at how nice everyone was and how open and light the building was with people sitting in the gardens,” he said. “I thought it was remarkably well set up.
“It’s also very reassuring to know we can call the hospice at any time, day or night, if we need to and there will be someone who can advise or help. We didn’t realise how much St Richard’s offers care and support to patients to help them stay in their own homes.”
Former-magistrate Val was taken ill while on holiday in Spain three years ago and told she had colon cancer. At one stage the couple were undergoing chemotherapy side by side in hospital.
Last year they were pointed in the direction of the care and support the hospice delivers, and they have been regularly seeing nurse specialist Gayle Webster at their own home.
Vale said: “When it was suggested we got in touch with St Richard’s my first reaction was this is the thin end of the wedge but Gayle has been such an enormous help to us both.
“My last lot of chemotherapy really knocked me about but Gayle was very helpful and talked to the doctors suggesting which medication might make a difference.
“She takes the time to build a relationship with us, helps answer things we are anxious about and we know we can ask her anything large or small which is worrying us.
“We can’t give enough praise to Gayle and St Richard’s for all their care and support to both of us. To think that St Richard’s is a charity as well and provides all this wonderful care for free is amazing. We would really encourage people to support this fantastic cause.”
Gayle added: “I see my role as a keyworker, liaising closely with the GP, St Richard’s medical team and the wider team in seeking support and expert knowledge to meet the needs of Max and Val.
“They are a delightful couple, I am so pleased to hear they benefit from my visits and they feel able to call the hospice at anytime.”