Patient story

Georgie’s Story

“Hello, my name is Georgie and I want to share my experience of the incredible care I have received at St Wilfrid’s Hospice, which continues to be so important to me and Chris, my husband”.

I met Chris in January 2019, it was one of the happiest days of my life. We lived in the same building and used to pass each other in the gym. I knew he had been asking after me and so one day I just walked up to him and said “Hi, I’m Georgie!” he was lost for words. He eventually managed to ask me out on a date and soon after were inseparable.

It was in January 2022, just before my 22nd birthday when I noticed a little line on the inside of my mouth. Between February and September, I went to three different dentists, who all thought it was just a bruise.

By September 2022, it had grown quite thick. I saw a fourth dentist who sent me to a GP for full health checks; they all came back fine. The GP said “There’s nothing wrong with you. You know, you’re 22. Fit and healthy.” It wasn’t until October 2022 that they confirmed it was Melanoma cancer in my mouth.

There I was, 22 years old and the conversation of dying had been raised.

By December 2022 I was under the care of The Royal Marsden who diagnosed me with Malignant Mucosal Melanoma. I had surgery to remove the tumour, which was much bigger than I anticipated as it had grown so much that they had to remove the entire roof of my mouth. But the surgery was unsuccessful and the cancer spread further.

In March 2023 I noticed a lump on my neck which was followed by yet more surgery. Sadly in May 2023, we were told it had spread to my lungs and reached the point where surgery was no longer an option.

In July 2023, Chris and I got engaged at Lime Wood Hotel in the New Forest, it was such a beautiful moment at our hardest time.

However, shortly after, my lung collapsed and everything turned around and we were told to prepare for my death very soon. There was a moment where the treatment started to work but I developed a lung infection and at this point they told me we had run out of options.

In October 2023, I was referred to St Wilfrid’s Hospice. I met Nicki from the Community Team and my world changed.

I had a preconception of a Hospice, and I couldn’t have been more wrong! I thought I was coming to the Hospice to die, and instead at our first meeting we didn’t talk about death, we talked about what I wanted and how I wanted to manage my care.

Being at St Wilfrid’s is not like being in a healthcare system, just feeling like a number. I have my identity back.

Chris was provided amazing support with counselling. Some of the Community Team can even prescribe, which makes a huge difference to our time together. We can be at home yet feel absolutely part of the Hospice.

By now it was November 2023 and we thought that I wouldn’t be able to make it to our wedding. Nicki said “We have a Chapel, we can organise a wedding for you and Chris here!” They had three days to put it all together!

I walked to the Chapel with flowers prepared by the gardeners, my dress was altered, the kitchen made a wedding cake, we had photos taken with a Cadillac, in fact, the entire team at St Wilfrid’s played some part in our wedding day. We felt like a million dollars!

I did get back home and now have access to 24-hour care thanks to the Community Team, utilising the whole range of Hospice services regularly.

The care for our wellbeing has transformed us, my pain management is under control and at a comfortable pace. I even have a portable emergency care kit so I can go out.


Chris has been trained by the nurses on how to administer pain relief for me, and he is brilliant at it, after several practices on an orange!

If you are able, please could you donate to help local people like me and Chris; when our world turned upside down we fell into the supportive arms of St Wilfrid’s Hospice. We know that your support makes a huge difference. With best wishes, Georgie.

Since speaking to Georgie and Chris earlier this year, Georgie has died surrounded by her loved ones. We would like to thank Georgie for sharing her experience of St Wilfrid’s and telling her story in her own words. 

 

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