Howard’s Story

“Dad came home on the day of my parents' 58th wedding anniversary, giving him and Mum the opportunity to down a last, celebratory glass of prosecco together!"

Howard’s Story

In April this year, Kate Shopper is running the TCS London Marathon, her first ever marathon, as part of the Rennie Grove Peace London Marathon team. Here she explains why the cause is close to her heart, and how she came to take on such a huge challenge:

“My father, Howard, had been suffering from kidney failure for several years, and as his health deteriorated, he received ongoing care from the Rennie Grove Hospice at Home team.

By 2020 we were all in lockdown, and my family and I were unable to go in and help Mum and Dad. We relied heavily on the Rennie Grove Hospice at Home team to keep them both safe and well.

Unfortunately, Dad contracted COVID in 2021 and was hospitalised. After a couple of weeks in hospital, we understood that Dad no longer had quality of life, and he was very clear, in his ‘Howard’ way, that he was ready to stop his life-sustaining dialysis treatment, and come home. Fulfilling his wish became our mission, and was only possible because of the Rennie Grove Hospice at Home service. 

Dad came home on the day of my parents’ 58th wedding anniversary, giving him and Mum the opportunity to down a last, celebratory glass of prosecco together!

Over the next few days, the Rennie Grove nursing team was at the end of the phone whenever we had a question or concern. If Dad needed something, we knew they’d be there as soon as they could. The whole team was so kind and sensitive. We all had absolute trust and faith in them, especially Dad. Which is so important at the end.

Dad was referred to the charity’s Rapid Personalised Care team which meant carers came to the house multiple times each day to look after his personal care. Every carer and nurse who set foot in the house was unbelievable. So patient and caring.

Dad died a few days later on 14 February 2021.

As a family, we found incredible comfort in the fact that Dad was at home with Mum, his children, grandchildren and even Mallie the dog, by his side.

The team from Rennie Grove were by his side every single day, even though the country was in COVID lockdown. They treated Dad with the utmost respect, taking care of his every need with such sensitivity which was, as a proud and private man, no small feat. Not only did they support Dad, but every single person on the team was immensely kind and supportive to the rest of the family, and for that we are forever grateful.

After Dad died, the whole family was so incredibly grateful for the care we had received from Rennie Grove that we started to fundraise for the charity. It shocked me to learn how much money the charity needs to raise through fundraising every single day – just to keep providing the services which mean so much to families like ours.”