Home News Norman Bailey's story and how our amazing nurses cared for him

21 Feb 2024 Community

Norman Bailey’s story and how our amazing nurses cared for him

The Kirkwood provides care to those who have life limiting illnesses and we make sure those who are in the last days of their life can die with dignity and respect in a loving and calm environment. One person that we cared for was Norman Bailey who died on our In-Patient unit on the 8th January.

We continue to care for hundreds of people across the Kirklees community with a life limiting illness. We can only do this with people’s very generous donations towards The Kirkwood, your donations make a huge difference with every penny going back into patient care. If you would like to make a donation click the link HERE and help us to support life. 

Norman’s wife Dawn was incredibly grateful to The Kirkwood with how we cared for her husband and believes what we do and how we operate is so important.

Norman was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and throughout the summer of 2023 he got the news that he was cancer free. However, going into the autumn and winter of last year, the cancer returned after a CT and MRI scan. The cancer was a tumor on Norman’s brain. Having spent time in hospital, he was admitted onto The Kirkwood’s In-Patient Unit on the 21st December, then cared for Norman and his family until he died at the beginning of January.

On her husband’s care with The Kirkwood and how he was diagnosed with cancer, Dawn explained: “My husband, Norman was in Huddersfield Royal Infirmary. He received adequate care and treatment, which was given with the limitations of the NHS. For the two weeks that he was in the HRI it was loud and noisy, there were lots of brights lights and it wasn’t very private.

“It was difficult, you want that privacy, he was in a lot of pain too. I was feeling very anxious watching my husband deteriorate and then we were given the unfortunate news that it was a terminal illness which was just devastating.

“We made a request to the doctor to have Norman moved to The Kirkwood. The day after we made that request, we met a lovely lady called Jade, a member of The Kirkwood team.
“She showed compassion and talked with clarity and understanding which helped my then fogged up mind and emotional state. She instantly put wheels in motion and by the end of the day we were given good news. We were so fortunate that a bed was available, and Norman took up residency on The Kirkwood’s In-Patient Unit on the 21st December.
“I was pleased when we got the news that there was a bed available, and I’ll always be grateful to Jade because in the melee of all that noise and brightness she offered us the peace and sanctuary of this wonderful charity.”

Norman was passionate about singing and was part of a local choir, in September last year he got so much strength back he was able to go back to doing what he loved most. However, he sadly started to deteriorate again during the month of November.  

Dawn said: “Norman loved the choir and by October he and the rest of them were planning their Christmas songs ready for the festive period. He was thrilled to bits that he was strong enough to drive a car. However, he sadly contracted shingles and at this point it was necessary for him to go into the HRI where they took a CT scan of his brain, and the tumor was growing on his left lobe. It was evident on the CT scan that the tumor was there. It had obviously been growing and he went for an MRI scan which took a 3D picture of his brain.

“The doctor did say we could try and laser the tumor however they couldn’t guarantee that he wouldn't come out of the operation in a vegetative state. They said because it's a blood cancer and all the cells are going around his body, there was a 90% chance that it would grow back again, possibly on his spine or somewhere else on his brain. So, we’d just end up chasing the cancer around his body.

“So, myself, my son and my daughter made the decision to not treat him anymore. I said if they couldn't give me my Norman back 100% as he was, we wouldn't put him through all that pain. At that stage we were realising it was just a matter of time before the end came for him.

“It was a hugely stressful time; I couldn’t sleep for worrying and my hair started to fall out in clumps because of all the stress.

“When Jade told me there was a bed available on The Kirkwood’s In-Patient Unit, I just sat with my mouth open staring at her in total disbelief. I didn't know how many beds were available, but I knew that obviously there must be a huge cue of people needing one, and I thought we'd have to go on a waiting list.

“I didn't want him to come home, I wanted him to have the best care he could possibly get and all three of us were in an agreement. The Kirkwood would be the best place for him.”

When entering the care of our amazing nurses and clinical team, Dawn found the experience comforting and peaceful. She found the care we provided Norman outstanding and it’s something she’ll never forget.

She commented: “In entering the In-Patient Unit, it was just peaceful, it was clean, it was just an absolute sanctuary. The people on the reception desk just smiled, that was just so lovely. From the doctors to the cleaners everyone we met whilst in The Kirkwood’s care was just amazing. When you're feeling as low as a snake's belly and you're feeling down and stressed and hurting, that smile that those staff members gave just meant so much to me and it’s something I won’t forget. It comforted me and warmed my heart.

“One thing I’ll always remember is that we were on the In-Patient Unit around Christmas time, and it was so beautifully and tastefully decorated for Christmas. It wasn't loud and brash with trimmings everywhere, it just had those little Christmas trees that were so tastefully decorated, it was just beautiful.

“It's going to be hard for every Christmas now because all those memories are going to be at Christmas time.

“As I said I can’t thank The Kirkwood enough for all their support and they showed Norman so much love and respect whilst caring for him.”

Following Norman’s funeral where 160 attended, Dawn raised over £1,000 for The Kirkwood. We’d like to thank Dawn for this amount and would like to reiterate that she will be for now and ever more be part of our The Kirkwood family.

Need clinical advice?
Call our advice line on:

01484 557910

24 hrs a day