Plymouth mother thanks hospice for allowing her to see husband one last time during end of life care

A mother from Plymouth has told ITV News how grateful she is that the hospice caring for her husband found a way for the family to see him before he died.

Tom Hammond was receiving end of life care from St Luke's Hospice during the lockdown for a brain tumour.

But after Jess and Tom's daughter Poppy show potential Covid symptoms the family had to isolate from Tom for three weeks.

Two weeks after their daughter Poppy was born, Jess and Tom received the news that Tom's brain tumour was growing again. Credit: Family photo

It didn’t even dawn on me that self isolating would mean that I wouldn’t be able to see Tom. So yeah at that point, I sort of, had to sort of say goodbyes in a way because I didn’t even know if I would get to see him again.

Jess Hammond

As the family’s self isolation finished, lockdown began and visiting at the Hospice was stopped.

But Jess made the decision to drive from their home in Tavistock to Turnchapel with Poppy to try to see her husband.

It was just really sad but really lovely that they could see each other.

Jess Hammond

She says: "They kindly brought him to see me out through a massive window and obviously Poppy went running over.

"It was just really sad but really lovely that they could see each other. She was just putting her hands up the glass. And he was putting his hand up to the glass.

"It was horrible but just grateful that we even got that."

The Hammond family struggled more than most during the UK lockdown. Credit: Family photo

Thankfully St Luke's were able to offer home care services so Tom was allowed to come home for the last three weeks of his life surrounded by Jess, Poppy and his son Josh.

He died aged 30.

Hospices like St Lukes are struggling to find ways to fundraise during the pandemic. Credit: ITV News West Country
881

Patients cared for during lockdown

40%

Patients cared for at home

During lockdown in Plymouth along St Lukes Hospice cared for 881 patients between 23 March - 7 July.

They also offered bereavement support to 191 people, 58 of those were children and five were directly related to Covid-19.

Jess has shared Tom's story to highlight the crucial work that is going on in hospices despite all the restrictions for Hospice Care Week.

St Luke's Hospice Plymouth needs to raise £7.8 million each and every year to continue providing specialist advice and support to people with progressive life-limiting illnesses in Plymouth, South West Devon and East Cornwall.