'It's so much more than a place where you go to die'
PUBLISHED: 11:47 24 April 2019 | UPDATED: 12:44 24 April 2019
An Aviva business analyst ran his first ever marathon to raise money for the £12.5m Priscilla Bacon Hospice appeal after the 'genuine care' his own father-in-law received in his final days.
Chris Satterley, from Wymondham, admitted that when his father-in-law Graham Rudder, 67, went into the Norwich hospice after being diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer, at first he was reluctant to visit him.
“I wasn't keen to go,” he said. “In my mind a hospice was a depressing place where you go to die but it was so much more than that, there were flowers everywhere, it was light and airy and the nurses were so cheery. Graham, who also lived in Wymondham with his wife Sharon, was treated as an individual, not just another person coming in with cancer, the staff genuinely cared about him. He was given a private room and at the end, was heavily sedated so it was very peaceful.”
Chris was so impressed by the Priscilla Bacon Lodge which has too few beds to cope with the demand, that he decided to raise money for the £12.5m appeal, supported by this newspaper, to build a new facility to provide extra beds for those with life limiting illnesses needing palliative care.
“Graham had no symptoms apart from some stomach pains on holiday and finding it harder to eat. When he got home, he went to the doctor and after several trips to the hospital, was diagnosed with bowel cancer which had spread to his liver. He was told he only had three months to live. When it got to the stage of being referred to the hospice, we were told there weren't any beds but they managed to find one.”
Chris ran his first marathon in Brighton last weekend in four hours and 39 minutes, after admitting struggling with the warm temperatures in the second half. He'd only ever ran a half marathon and although was cheered on by wife Joanna, has decided he won't be doing it again.
“I want to continue fundraising for the new hospice; I raised £860 and Aviva gave £250 towards it too. Both Graham and Sharon had worked for Aviva before retiring,” said Chris, 44. “But the marathon was a lot harder than I thought it would be and I think I have now ticked that box.”
The new hospice, to be built near the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital, will offer an in-patient centre and capacity for 24 in-patient beds as well as family rooms for relatives and patients with young children, so families can stay together towards the end of life as well as landscaped gardens accessible from bedrooms and wards.
To pledge your support or donate email firstname.lastname@example.org or click here or to donate offline contact Priscilla Bacon Hospice on email@example.com or by writing to 9-11 Drayton High Road, Norwich NR8 6AH.