End of life care: Jones family story

17 December 2013        

Category: Survival and support

Michael Jones in his garden

Peter Jones explains how our funding ensured that his father was at home with his family around him when he died, after being diagnosed with heart failure.

Dad started suffering shortness of breath in 2011 and was admitted to hospital where it was found he had chronic heart failure.

One of the symptoms he suffered from was a build up of fluid in the body. He received treatment in hospital which helped to alleviate the problem. He was able to return home, but in December 2012 his symptoms worsened as his heart failure progressed. He was readmitted to hospital and received the same treatment as before where they removed as much of the excess fluid in his body as they could.

Returning home

On returning home a few weeks later it was immediately apparent that dads symptoms were difficult to control without the treatment he had received in hospital. At this point we were told by a doctor that they would do what they could, but he was not going to get better and that he would need home oxygen.

Dad was then transferred to a local service that could offer him intravenous therapy at home known as the HITS team (Home Intravenous Therapy Service) as part of his end of life care.

If it wasn’t for the care dad received at home, he would have been in hospital for months. The team who cared for him did a really fantastic job, for which we are so grateful.

Cardiac nurses

The BHF funded three part-time nurses to join the cardiac nursing team at the East Cheshire NHS Trust. This has allowed the team to make sure patients get an early diagnosis, get started on treatment promptly and allow them to be discharged home with support of the trust’s home intravenous treatment service. Dad was the first person to receive care from this new service until the end of his life.

The project allowed dad to die at home, which is really what he wanted. His garden, which was his pride and joy, was one of the last things he saw. The nurses made the end of his life days as easy as possible.

Dad sadly passed away aged 88 on 11 July 2013.

Text Santa

Peter appeared on ITV’s This Morning as part of ITV's Text Santa fundraising appeal. If you missed This Morning you can check out Michael's story online.

Over 2 million people in the UK struggle with the devastating effects of heart disease. The money raised through Text Santa will enable us to continue to fund nurses, who provide vital care in communities and ensuring help is just a phone call away.

To donate £5, text SANTA to 70070.

Every penny of your donation will be distributed equally between the six charities.