Stamford woman praises Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice team for giving her life back after cancer diagnosis
A woman has thanked the hospice team who helped to rebuild her life after she was diagnosed with cancer.
Karen Rondan arrived at Thorpe Hall Hospice thinking it was just a place for her to die, but she left with a sense of hope for the future.
The 66-year-old was diagnosed with breast cancer and went on to discover she was allergic to chemotherapy and other conventional medication.
The cancer later spread to her spine, causing paralysis, and after a lengthy hospital stay, Karen moved to Sue Ryder hospice in Peterborough to help manage her symptoms.
She said: “I was completely broken. I didn’t know a lot about hospices and arrived thinking it was a place for me to die.
Get the news delivered straight to your inbox - sign up to The Briefing here
“If I had known a little bit more, I wouldn’t have been so fearful. I’m a totally different person now to the one who arrived and that’s down to the amazing staff. Every single person has helped me and I would like to help other people to see hospices differently.”
During her time at Thorpe Hall Karen enjoyed a range of activities from playing chess and having her hair done to picking flowers from the garden. All of this, she says, gave her hope and a reason to smile.
Karen, from Stamford, said: “On the first night I knew I was in good hands. I felt so safe and secure and that is how it has been ever since. I’ve felt there is no need to worry.
“The nurses are all so kind and caring but you can see that what they do is a passion for them, not a job. They all have it in their blood. They are empathetic and will go out of their way to make sure that you’re comfortable and have what you need.
“I was just so broken when I arrived so it feels like I was given a winning lottery ticket. The hospice team have made me feel whole as a person again and helped me through everything because I was so confused about where my life was going.”
The staff have helped Karen to manage her pain and she is now ready to go home.
She said: “I felt like I have given up on my life but I was given it back piece by piece. I can see a life and I can see hope.”