Peter Bowery with the team on IPU. Picture by Tessa Youens.
A man diagnosed with terminal cancer has spoken about how the care shown by hospice staff means he can die in peace.
Father-of-three Peter Bowery was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2010.
Since then, he has spent much of his time in the EllenorLions Hospice Inpatient Unit (IPU) in Northfleet.
Speaking from his bed in the hospice, the 60-year-old, of Ladywood Road, Darenth, said: “It’s my second stay at the IPU. My first admission came out of the blue.
“At first I was worried; I thought I would go into the ward and come out quickly in a box.
“The hospice chaplain David Norley reassured me this was not the case, that I would soon return home to my family.
“He kept his word and for a long time I remained at home, receiving help from the fantastic Home Care Team, in particular palliative care nurse specialists Sheila Guillum Scott and Lesley Dawson.
“I’m back at IPU now to help keep the pain under control – I can’t even begin to describe how bad it can be – but EllenorLions Hospices is wonderful.
“I feel like I’ve fallen into the royal suite and every single member of staff works their socks off.
“All of them deserve the utmost respect, from the cleaning staff to the doctors.”
Speaking to promote Hospice Care Week , Mr Bowery said: “It’s the little things that make a big difference. The staff are all so gentle, kind and do so much to bring a smile to your face. Where else would you get an ice lolly brought to your bedside in the hot weather?
Peter Bowery and his wife Dianna. Picture: Tessa Youens.
“Being here enables my wonderful wife Dianna to get some much-needed rest. She is my full-time carer and has gone through so much.
“EllenorLions, and in particular volunteer Chaplain Valerie Elms, have made sure she’s also supported through all the challenges we face.
“I’ve decided that I would like to die at the hospice. In my heart I know they will give me the best possible care and grant my wish of passing peacefully.
“I know EllenorLions will look after my wife and daughters and that means I can die happy.
“I’m so thankful to have received such wonderful care, at no cost to my family.
“I could never have afforded to pay for care like this.
“If you have something to give, then EllenorLions is the charity to donate to.”
The hospice runs a Lucky Stars Lottery, which costs £1 and has a weekly £1,000 jackpot. To find out more call 01322 625508 or log onto www.ellenorlions.org