“His last words to me: ‘you are my hero and I love you’.”
Marie Curie Nurse, Julie Davis is taking part in our #FeelSuper campaign with Procter and Gamble and Superdrug in aid of Marie Curie.
Julie has had a range of jobs – from driving a forklift to running her own pet accessories business – but she was inspired to work in palliative care after supporting her partner through terminal illness.
“My partner and I had been together for a couple of years when he found out he had an inoperable brain tumour. We had about nine months from diagnosis to when he passed away.
“I gave up part of my business to care for him and he moved in with me. It was hard. The tumour affected his personality and he wasn’t able to sympathise with things outside himself. He couldn’t see how difficult it was to care for him at home and refused to have anyone else in the house.
“He would shout at my son and I knew I had a decision to make. My partner’s life was ending and my son’s was only beginning – I didn’t want him to be affected by this for the rest of his life.
“My partner went into hospital with a chest infection and I said ‘he can’t come home’ – it was the hardest decision I ever made. It was arranged for him to go into a neurological centre. He had independence in his wheelchair and I wasn’t working so could be there and care for him during the day. Being at the centre meant that I could be his partner again and not just his carer.
“My partner had a good death. Everything was as good as it could have been. I came to the centre at lunchtime one day and he died soon after. His last words to me were: ‘you are my hero and I love you’. It was wonderful to hear that from him, for that to be the last thing he said to me.
A powerful feeling
“Knowing I had done the best I could for him made dealing with my own grief and loss a little bit easier. That’s what I aim to give the families I care for. To know I am able to help people have that good experience, to smooth that transition between life and death, is a powerful feeling. Knowing you have made a difference is incredible.”
Julie and other Marie Curie Nurses received some well-earned pampering as part of the #FeelSuper campaign with Proctor & Gamble – the company behind brands such as Olay, Gillette and Oral-B.
Until 5 April, each time you buy P&G products from Superdrug stores, including brands such as Max Factor and Pantene, you will trigger a donation to Marie Curie. The campaign aims to raise £200,000, which could help fund more than 10,000 hours of nursing care and support from amazing people like Julie.
Find out more about the #FeelSuper campaign and an easy way to support people living with terminal illness.
You can also watch Julie’s friend Melissa in her video blog supporting our Great Daffodil Appeal 2016.