Norah’s Story

"This place gave Norah her life back.” 

After a trip to visit her family in Australia in 2013, Norah was referred for an endoscopy and CT scan for continuing bowel problems.  The devastating results were that she had a tumour on her right lung and that it was small cell cancer.

With a prognosis of only 2 weeks to live, Norah and her family had a very difficult decision – the trauma of chemotherapy could extend Norah’s life expectancy but Norah’s daughter, Linda didn’t want her mother to suffer during the time that she had left.  Norah decided to have the chemotherapy after which she moved in with her daughter and son in law, Malcolm.

The next few months were very difficult for Norah who had many visits from the District Nurses and was admitted to hospital numerous times for chest infections, urine infections (UTI’s), a heart attack and finally septicaemia.  At this time Norah was recommended for respite care at Alice House Hospice.  After 3 days Norah was feeling much better and stayed for the full 2 weeks.

Norah was discharged back to her own home with a full package of care from the Community Services Team at Alice House Hospice, however she was frightened about being alone.  After falling from another urinary infection Norah was back at North Tees Hospital where she was also treated for Pneumonia for 3 weeks.

At this stage Norah and her family decided that it would be best for Norah to stay in the Long Term Care Unit at Alice House which they had visited whilst Norah was on respite, so in December 2014 Norah moved.

Norah’s daughter Linda said

“It is like a home from home – all the staff are like family now.  The Long Term Care Unit is like a home from home for Norah.  Norah has access to facilities that other places don’t.  Staff are on hand to help Norah live like an independent person such as helping her to the bathroom 3 and 4 times during the night. She has her own en-suite bedroom, use of a communal lounge and kitchen and her family and friends can visit at any time, Norah has her own routine.”

Malcolm, Norah’s son in law said “Yes chemo shrunk the tumour but coming to the Long Term Care Unit has been the big change – this place gave Norah her life back.”

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Hartlepool Hospice Ltd (known locally as Alice House Hospice and formerly Hartlepool & District Hospice)
Registered office: Alice House, Wells Avenue, Hartlepool, TS24 9DA.