‘Hospice takes away the pain for all of us’

Chris Bevan. ANL-140610-121358001
Chris Bevan. ANL-140610-121358001

Proud father-of-two Chris Bevan is a little out of breath after returning from a walk.

Chris has experienced many ups and downs with his health, with four heart attacks, a head-on car crash and, more recently, having to deal with the hammer blow that he has incurable cancer.

“I was first diagnosed with tonsil cancer in 2010,” says Chris, 69, from Sudbury. “I’ve been told it could be weeks or months.

“Until a few weeks ago, I worked at Newton Green Golf Club a couple of days a week, but that has had to stop now.”

Chris, a former landlord and nightclub manager, has been receiving help from St Nicholas Hospice Care – even enjoying walks with staff.

“I have to be with people and walking with Eve, a ward volunteer, has made me feel stronger,” he said.

“Walking is not just about the physical benefits but about my mental well-being, too. It clears my head.”

Chris is full of praise for the help he receives at the hospice in Bury St Edmunds.

“I am so happy to be at the hospice because people know me as the person I am,” he said.

“I’ve had such good care – it’s so kind and loving here. I’ve not been let down by anyone or anything. And there has been lots of laughter.

“My philosophy is to forget all the rubbish things and I look at all the lovely things. I always say that tomorrow is another day so enjoy what you’ve got.”

He singled out the staff for special praise.

“The nurses are lovely, simply lovely,” he said. “Caroline Saunders, a care assistant, looks after me. She takes my hand and asks me what I want to eat and when I want it.

“This has taken the enormous pressure of looking after me off my partner, Frances, who I love dearly.”

While Chris is currently on the ward to manage his symptoms, he has also received help in his own home, too.

He has been supported by nursing staff at home and has also had assessments by a physiotherapist and occupational therapist to help manage everyday living.

His partner Frances said: “The hospice has been amazing. They look after Chris, but they also take care of the whole family.

“It helps that they have taken away so much of the pain, not just for Chris, but for all of us.”