How Hospiscare helped Sidbury family share special last Christmas with beloved dad-of-eight Dave

A Sidbury family facing their first Christmas without a beloved dad-of-eight have called on people to support the charity that cared for him in his final days.

Jayne Horler’s partner Dave was told he had terminal cancer late last year– with the diagnosis coming as a huge shock to him and his loved-ones.

His health rapidly deteriorated and Dave was admitted to Hospiscare’s ward at Searle House in Exeter just before the festive season.

Jayne is backing the charity’s Christmas Appeal after experiencing its care and support first-hand.

She hopes sharing her experience can aid the cause and the families that it will care for this Christmas.

Jayne met Dave at a Valentine’s disco 34 years ago and the pair had been inseparable ever since.

They started a family and travelled around the UK together with their eight children.

Dave started to feel unwell in August 2018 and then received a devastating diagnosis.

Jayne said: “When Dave was admitted to the hospice, I was frightened of being apart like we almost came to be in the hospital, but it was completely different. I couldn’t believe it.”

Jayne and her partner Dave with their family. Picture: The Horler family

Jayne and her partner Dave with their family. Picture: The Horler family

With their large family, Jayne and Dave were concerned about visits to the hospice, but the nurses quickly calmed their fears. They were able to use the hospice’s family room when they wished.

As Christmas drew closer, Jayne asked the nurses if the family could decorate the room and they immediately agreed.

Jayne added: “When it came to Christmas Eve, Dave fell asleep while they were decorating the room. When he woke up he said, ‘Am I in heaven?’”

Dave spent his last days in the hospice with all of his family around him.

Jayne said: “All the nurses and every person at Hospiscare, you couldn’t fault them; they were one billion per cent beautiful.

“Hospiscare made such a hard time so special and relaxing.

“This Christmas, there will be other families like ours who will be saying goodbye to someone they love.

“If you are able to give a donation, no matter how small, it would mean so much to know that others can receive the special care and love that was extended to Dave and to us.”

Hospiscare cares for terminally-ill people and their families in Exeter, Mid and East Devon.

To make a donation to support families like Jayne’s this Christmas, call 01392 688020 or donate online here.

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