St Andrew’s gave Michael his life back

It is no surprise that with a significant medical diagnoses, comes emotional and psychological turmoil. Sometimes, when people are referred to St Andrew’s Hospice, we can quickly learn that their physical symptoms and condition are only one aspect of the care and support that they need to be able to recuperate and enjoy living their lives.

In 2018, Michael collapsed and was rushed into hospital. Following a worrying wait and investigative procedures, Michael was told the doctors had discovered he had a brain tumour.

Living with this news was very challenging, for Michael and his family. It can be hard for those close to us to know how to react to such a difficult piece of news. In fact, a member of Michael’s family became terribly controlling, attempting to restrict Michael’s day-to-day to the extent that it had serious implications on Michael’s mental health. Michael became incredibly depressed and anxious, and his self-esteem was in tatters.

Michael was referred to St Andrew’s Hospice for Wellbeing Service support. In the initial meeting, the team noticed an unusual dynamic between Michael and his relative who attended the session with him. From this session onwards, the case worker encouraged Michael, offering the support he needed to rebuild his independence.

“During that time I genuinely thought I was dying, and with the control added into the mix, I felt the lowest of the low. St Andrew’s Hospice saved me, honestly.”

Before Michael’s referral, he had become increasingly anxious. This had a profound impact on his life, limiting the amount he could leave his house. As he no longer felt comfortable driving or getting out and about, he spent most of his days sitting in his chair reflecting on how his life was turning out. The support groups Michael accessed through St Andrew’s Hospice him a reason to start interacting with the world again – and Michael made new friends.

“The Wellbeing team at St Andrew’s Hospice got my life back on track.”

Michael found enjoyment, comfort and new skills through the gardening and arts and craft clubs, where he loved the friendly atmosphere, socialising and “just being there”. He also took advantage of the treatments we offer, like targeted massages to help him relax and feel better. The on-site gym helped him to slowly become more mobile, to the extent that he has now joined a local gym to continue the exercises he has learnt at St Andrew’s.

“Feeling physically and mentally stronger came hand in hand as I began to get better.”

To our delight, Michael has made such progress in building his confidence and self-esteem that he has discharged himself from our services, wanting to give his place to someone else who may have a greater current need. Fantastically, Michael’s health has also taken a positive turn and his condition is now stable. We will miss Michael’s lovely personality in our groups, but are all looking forward to seeing him at a coffee morning in the near future!

“St Andrew’s Hospice has made me feel like I can stand on my own two feet again and do things on my own without being drowned by anxiety, and for that I am eternally grateful.”

“The hospice saved my life. Got my confidence back. Took the controlling influence away. Without this I would be sat in a chair like a cabbage now.  This was done in the prefix of love.. 

Hospital saved me.

St Andrew’s gave me my life back. “

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