'It's a lifeline' - Family's tribute to hospice as it marks anniversary

Lathwell family

Tim Lathwell (left) with his brother Alan (middle) and son Blanes (right). Tim used the palliative care from St Elizabeth Hospice during his final few months. - Credit: Lathwell family

The family of a man who was treated by a community healthcare provider in his final days have paid tribute to the care he received, as the organisation marks its second anniversary.

Tim Lathwell died of a brain tumour in January and thanks to the care of St Elizabeth Hospice and East Coast Community Healthcare, was able to live out the final stages of his life at home surrounded by his family.

The service provides care to almost 2,000 patients across Waveney and Great Yarmouth who suffer with life-limiting illnesses.

Patients receive specialist palliative care at Beccles hospital, in the community or via the 24-hour advice line OneCall.

Lathwell family

Tim and Wendy Lathwell with their grandson Finnlee. - Credit: Lathwell family

Mr Lathwell, a former East Suffolk Council cleanerof Carlton Colville used the service after he was diagnosed with a brain tumour in November 2020.

He received care from James Paget University Hospital and Addenbrookes Hospital before being cared for at his home by specialist palliative care nurses from the hospice.

Mr Lathwell died on January 7, but his family is eternally grateful for the support they received.

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Wendy Lathwell, his widow said: "The service was like a lifeline to Tim and our family.

“They treated him like a person and not like a patient and they enabled us as a family to concentrate on being there for Tim when it mattered most.

“Most importantly though Tim was able to die at home.

"Once we knew his condition was incurable, we promised ourselves Tim would stay at home so we would be together until he passed.

"Without the support of the specialist palliative care team I am not sure this would have been possible and we are so grateful to them that we were able to fulfil his wishes."

hannah mcdowell

Hanna McDowell has encouraged people with family members with life-limiting illnesses to come forward. - Credit: St Elizabeth Hospice

Hanna McDowell, head of therapies and community care unit at St Elizabeth Hospice, said: “Over the last two years it has been a privilege to work together with ECCH to make a real difference to patients and their families in Great Yarmouth and Waveney.

“We are encouraging anyone in the region who is living with a life-limiting condition or who has a loved one who has recently been diagnosed with an illness that requires palliative care, to get in touch."