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Ashgate Hospice > Kimberley’s story part five: Making final memories with my wonderful husband

Kimberley and Andrew were childhood sweethearts with two young children. After living with cancer for three and a half years, Andrew was reaching the last weeks of his life. Together, Kimberley and Andrew, along with their two children, spent the time they had left creating precious memories. We bring you her fifth instalment of the series here: 

Before Andrew returned home, I started to see how much Andrew was struggling physically. We soon began to realise that a very different Andrew would return home.  

I started to think about how much he would struggle using our current bathroom and only toilet. It was so upsetting.  

As word got out that Andrew had been spending a lot of time in hospital, I began receiving many messages from friends asking about his progress. I decided to reach out to one of our friends. 

Thanks to the incredible support of our amazing friends and family, we managed to raise more than £4,000 to fund a shower room for him at our house. It made me realise just how much of an impact he’d made to so many people’s lives.  

However, Andrew still wasn’t well enough to return home, so he was readmitted to Ashgate Hospice. He was so happy to be there, and our plan remain unchanged – get strong and come home. 

Because of hospital admissions and COVID restrictions, Andrew had not seen the children in a long time, so we arranged for them to visit the hospice. The first visit would be with our son, on his own and straight from school.

Jayden had been getting upset at school, thinking about his dad and was so excited to see him. He loved his daddy’s room at the hospice and because we’d told him that Daddy ate like a king! 

Our daughter was due to see Andrew a couple of days later. Sadly, that wasn’t meant to be. Andrew was having issues with his catheter, and he needed to go back to hospital to have it changed.

His bladder cancer also meant that he was losing a lot of blood, and another blood transfusion was needed. After a short stay, Andrew returned to Ashgate.  

Meanwhile work had begun on the new shower room. It was amazing to see so many of our friends busy at our house. They completed all kinds of jobs for us.

Everyone wanted to be helpful and utilise the skills they had. We had garden furniture painted, decking painted, patio jet washed, plus other remedial work around the house.  

It wasn’t just about the shower room, everyone genuinely wanted to help. Andrew was over the moon, and he couldn’t believe that everyone would do that for him and for us.   

On the 22nd March, I woke up to two missed calls from the hospice. I rang them back and I was told that Andrew had had a bad night and needed oxygen. He was unable to mobilise and get out of bed. 

He was asking for me and I arrived very quickly after speaking to the nurse. He had refused another hospital admission and I couldn’t blame him. It was that day that we were told that Andrew would not make it home from the hospice. 

I went home and I had a very difficult conversation with the children before bringing them both in to see their dad for the last time.

They both gave him a big hug and kiss before going back to their phone and tablet. I don’t think they really grasped the severity of the situation, but that was probably for the best.    

The next morning, I went back to the hospice, and I could see that Andrew had deteriorated further. I knew then that I couldn’t leave him. The hospice kindly gave me the key to the family bedroom so I could stay close by. Andrew was reaching his final days. 

We will be releasing a new instalment of Kimberley’s story every Saturday. Please check our website and social media for the next part of the series.