Lynda's Story

When Lynda Edwards’ husband, David, was diagnosed with cancer 7 years ago she knew the couple had a tough fight ahead of them.   

David had been a dentist for 45 years and had sold his dental practice in Glastonbury. With Lynda by his side, he was getting ready to settle into a happy retirement. Shortly after retiring the couple were invited to go on a trip of a lifetime to New York by their son, William, but just a week before they left for this amazing adventure one hospital appointment changed everything for them both.

Lynda and David in New York - St Margaret's Hospice Stories Somerset

Lynda and David in New York

“David had been to the GP as he’d had issues with his prostate, and at the hospital we were given the news that he had prostate cancer just days before we were due to embark on this trip of a lifetime,” Lynda explained. “I felt very sad on that trip as I knew we had something ahead of us. But we still had fun on the trip and made some amazing memories together.” 

Lynda said David faced his illness with ‘great dignity’ and described the experience as ‘a 7-year adventure with the very best treatment along the way.’ The couple continued to enjoy life together for many years but as time went on David became more unwell and as he reached the end of his life, Lynda knew they both needed support.  

Support in the community  

“David’s diagnosis was disappointing for us as a family, but we were determined to fight it. My daughter, Delia, contacted St Margaret’s to see if they could help us as David had been in hospital and his illness had become more aggressive,” Lynda explained. “I knew the hospice could come and visit David at home which was reassuring as I knew he wanted to die at home.  

“When David came home, a Community Nurse called Angie from St Margaret’s came to visit him just a day or two later. It was like nectar from heaven, help was here. Angie is a cancer specialist with more experience than many doctors and along with David’s GP she told us everything the hospice could offer to us, from the little things like equipment to help him at home to medication to help with his pain.  

“As time went on David started to go off his food, he stayed in bed for most of the day and was very weak. Angie was amazing, she visited David and I regularly to make sure we had all the support we needed; she came to us in the comfort of our own home, it was like she was part of the family.”

David and family - St Margaret's Hospice Somerset Stories

David and his family

Lynda told Angie that her daughter, Delia, was getting married in September 2023 and it was David’s wish to walk her down the aisle to be married. Lynda explained that Delia was getting anxious that her father would not be here to walk her down the aisle, so Angie jumped into action and made a plan to make it happen. 

Support in the Sunflower Centre 

“Angie suggested David came to the Sunflower Centre as she could see that I needed it and so did David,” Lynda said. “David wasn’t initially keen on going to meet new people at the centre, but Angie made this place sound absolutely heavenly, and he agreed to give it a go.  

“When he came out of each session, I actually felt a bit jealous as he seemed to be having such a wonderful time. He said the cook made wonderful soups and food for them to eat and he was enjoying himself as he got to meet people and craft things. He made me a beautiful silk scarf which Lisa kindly posted out to me for my birthday which was just a week or so before David died. It meant the world to me to receive such a precious gift from my husband at such a difficult time.   

“Lisa from the Sunflower Centre was amazing; she spoke to David about his goal which was walking Delia down the aisle and worked together to make it happen. David had access to support from a physiotherapist at the centre and they did exercises with David to help him to build strength in his legs as he wanted to walk Delia down the aisle unsupported. It was amazing what they did for him.” 

But just a few weeks before Delia’s wedding, David became more unwell and had to stop coming to the Sunflower Centre. It was a difficult time for David and his family and Lynda said she was worried he wouldn’t make it to the wedding, but that St Margaret’s helped to make this dream come true.  

Helping families to make lasting memories 

“Angie saved my daughter’s wedding,” Lynda said. “The week before the wedding David was in a hospital bed being nursed at home 24 hours a day. At one stage I wasn’t sure he was going to make it down the aisle with Delia. He was so brave throughout it all. He was determined to do the walk, but he knew he was reaching the end of his life.  

“Angie suggested we give him some steroids to help him just a few days before the wedding and it really bulked him up! David made it to Delia’s wedding. On the day of the wedding, we got him ready to go to Crowcombe Court. His suit was too big as he’d lost 3 stone, but he had pink braces to go with the pink theme, he looked great.  

“With Angie’s steroids, chemotherapy and his own determination he walked proudly into Crowcombe Court and walked Delia down the aisle. He was cheered by everyone after making his speech and danced the night away with me! We stayed up until 12pm which we hadn’t done in ages. It was a great way for him to celebrate Delia’s wedding and to say goodbye to all the people he loved. 

David walking Delia down the aisle - St Margaret's Hospice Stories Somerset

David walking Delia down the aisle 

“It was the hospice that got him to the wedding, the hospice that looked after him in those days during the illness, and I will be forever grateful for all the people that cared for him.” 

David died peacefully at home just a few weeks after Delia’s wedding with his family by his side.  

Supporting families through grief 

After David died, Lynda said she grieved ‘heavily’ for David and found it very difficult to be without him. She knew she needed some support and said she felt reassured when the St Margaret’s Complementary Therapy Team offered her the help she needed to get through it.   

“Laura, one of the hospice’s Complementary Therapists, has been an amazing support to me,” Lynda said. “She’s given me reflexology treatments which just raise you off your bed mentally and leave you feeling refreshed. She also gave me the time and space to speak about David and how I was feeling and gave me advice and support when I needed it. She’s looked after me so well.  

“One thing I’ve learnt is that life goes on, it’s worth living. If you are going through grief, speak to a friend or speak to the hospice, they will care for you throughout your grief. Please give with an open heart to the hospice, it’s an amazing place and we have to keep it going.” 

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