Mr S (Tavistock)
Given a short prognosis, Mr S told OH that he wanted to enjoy the time he had left and loved artand painting as he could “lose himself doing painting” Unfortunately this hobby had been long forgotten, so OH arranged for a buddy art tutor to guide Mr S and provide him with some one to one tuition to enable him to re-kindle his talents. Mr S found huge pleasure in the time he shared with the art tutor, going on to create several paintings that since his passing, have been turned into wonderful framed prints for his family, kindly organised by his tutor. Mr S’s wife kindly donated a print to OH as a thank you for our support.
Mrs S (Derbyshire)
When Mrs S, following a ‘Whipple’ procedure was confined to her home whilst in recovery she desperately needed the support and assistance of her daughter, by all accounts a brilliant cook, to come and visit regularly to help alleviate her stress and aid in her full recovery.
Mrs S had recently been blessed with twin grandsons now 5 months old as well as their older brother (4 years old) so the journey to visit her mother was inconvenient and expensive for Mrs S daughter who lived 26 miles away, trains and buses once a week with twin babies and a 4 year old can’t be anyone’s idea of a walk in the park! ‘Operation Henry’ contracted a Taxi firm to offer a door-to-door service 24/7 so that Mrs S could enjoy the company of her family which in her own words “helped the speedy recovery”.
Mrs D (Exeter)
When her husband was diagnosed with a serious heart condition he transferred the tenancy agreement on the family home to Mrs D so it came as a terrible shock soon after when she was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer leading to them both having to move out and live together in a nursing home with their daughter and grand-daughter still living in the family home.
Sadly succession of the tenancy agreement may only occur once and therefore the daughter and her child had to leave the family home. Finding that they were faced with being made homeless Operation Henry, in liaison with the Local Authority, ensured that all re-location and moving costs were covered relieving Mrs D of a great deal of worry and concern following the news that her condition was terminal.
Mrs S regularly visits her local hospice on a day care basis accompanied by her daughter; frail and unable to tolerate travelling too far thus eliminating the possibility of a cruise that she and her late husband had always dreamt. She was approaching her next birthday on the 12th November, and to celebrate what would quite possibly her last birthday it was decided by her daughter accompanied by her sister and brother in law that she would greatly benefit from a holiday break with a difference! Operation Henry organised a five day holiday to Blackpool for the family.
“We are all having a ball here! Mum doing very well, had a cake and party for her birthday, even sang to her,it was really special for her” said her daughter.
Great efforts are made to help the families and loved ones of those who have been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. For example, when a phone call was received from a specialist oncology nurse advising ‘Henry’ of a 38 year old mother of an eight year old daughter, who had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and had just 10 weeks left to live, the Trust arranged a day out at the National Marine Aquarium with the personal welcome and attention from the ‘ops’ manager for the extended family.
When the Trust learnt from a personal visit to the patient by David Snelling, that her father had died a month before her prognosis was confirmed, Operation Henry was asked to provide some practical help with the scattering of precious ashes. An ex-Navy man, it had been his wish that his ashes should be scattered at sea.. First, it was necessary to establish that her father had been in the Royal Navy in order to qualify for a ‘burial at sea’. Investigations established that he was indeed a submariner and through negotiations with the Chaplaincy Office at H.M.S. Drake, Plymouth, arrangements had to be made for an appropriate casket to be manufactured by a local Funeral Director . Secondly, when the day of committal arrived, Operation Henry arranged for the Royal Navy to pick up the patient’s family from home, take them on board and scatter the ashes in the allocated committal area at sea. The family returned home content with the knowledge that the patient’s and her daughter’s wishes of their father and grandfather had been fulfilled – thanks to Operation Henry.
Mrs B (Exeter)
In January 2011 an application form and covering letter encompassing a wish list was received from Mrs B – this patient, a mother of three children, who was diagnosed with the disease was a keen exponent of ‘trials’ to help other sufferers’ prognoses. A Volunteer Assessor arranged to have a confidential,candid and transparent meeting over a cup of tea and a biscuit at the Force Centre within the Hospital campus at Exeter where the ‘wish list’ previously received by the Trustees was discussed.
Following contact with her G.P., and due to the chemotherapy treatment, Mrs B was experiencing serious Deep Vein Thrombosis ( D.V.T.).
Pain could be alleviated in the form of a mouldable mattress as recommended by Mrs B’s mother with whom Operation Henry had constructive liaison . The Charity provided a mattress for Mrs B to help alleviate the pains of D.V.T.
Jaundice may well be the pre-cursor of a more serious condition occasionally leading to Pancreatic Cancer; so was the case with this gentleman who following a ‘Whipple’ procedure had to have follow up chemotherapy. The symptoms were becoming apparent following the confirmation of a touring holiday in Scotland which had to be cancelled. The disappointment of cancelling a long awaited break with friends did nothing to defer the trauma of realising that he and his family may have to face the inevitable. The Chemotherapy treatment, whilst being effective, with all its side-affects had to be endured until the end of February next year when the course finishes. Operation Henry organised a full-board coach tour visiting the beautiful Glens of Scotland with an abundance of clean air, peace and tranquillity helping to alleviate the stress and trauma of pancreatic cancer.
Mr B (Exeter)
In March 2011 Mr B was visited by a Volunteer Assessor at his home where an informal meeting took place following the receipt of an application form for benefits dutifully supplied by the CNS Nurse based in the Oncology Department at Exeter’s Wonford Hospital. The patient, an ex military man, father of three children, married to a wife who was unable to drive, had occasion to receive blood transfusions following his diagnosis of Pancreatic cancer now in its most developed stage giving a prognosis which was terminal within three months. Mr B took it upon himself to drive to the appropriate Centre to receive these transfusions; this activity was agreed to be unwise at the meeting which was concluded with the recommendation to the Trustees that a dedicated transport facility should be provided for any medical and needy reasons 24 hours a day until no longer required. A facility which Mr B was very grateful for.