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2 Apr 2024 Community

Shaun Crowe’s story

The Kirkwood is here for everyone in the Kirklees area as we try to care for as many people as possible who are living with a life limiting illness. Whether that be out in the community or on our In-Patient Unit. 

One person we have recently cared for is Shaun Crowe. Shaun has been cared for on our In-Patient Unit and has prostate cancer which has spread to Shaun's bones. 

Shaun is getting the support he needs regarding medication and pain symptoms management. He first got diagnosed in 2013. In 2020 he stumbled and fell and due to a bleed on his spine Shaun became paralyzed and now needs the use of a wheelchair to move around. 

Speaking about the moment he got diagnosed with cancer, Shaun said: “It was a bit of a shock, but I've just got on with it and tried to stay positive about it. I just sort of never really thought much about it and just got on with things.

“What happened in 2020 though was a real blow. One day I'm working and driving and just getting on with life, and then the next day I can't move. It was really devastating as my life changed completely.” 

Karen Crowe, Shaun's wife and carer spoke about the devastating impact on his and her life with both the diagnosis in 2013 and subsequent event that happened in 2020. 

She commented: “Shaun relatively did whatever he wanted to do and just got on with it when he received the original diagnosis. 

“The shock came when Shaun had a little bit of a stumble and he ended up with a bleed on his spine and he ended up paralyzed in 2020. 

“It has been a massive change for us all. I ended up having two years off of work to care for Shaun. We've had to adapt our home to cope with Shaun's needs. We've actually achieved quite a lot in the two or three years since then. With the changes that we've made it has meant I have been able to go back to work.   

“He is on his own at home whilst I'm at work so family come to visit him and care for him which is great. So lots of things have had to be put into place.” 

When speaking about The Kirkwood staff Shaun couldn't speak anymore highly of the care he has been provided whilst on the In-Patient Unit. 

He said: “I've got prostate cancer, and it's spread to my bones. That's why I'm getting all this pain. So the doctors and nurses are looking at my pain management as the pain is in my shoulders and back. The care I have received has been fantastic. The nurses are really good, I can't fault it, really.

“I was told before I came on to the unit what it would be like, and it is what I expected. 

“The nurses are on the ball and very quick to help you out. You are not waiting around for your medication and stuff like that, and they have daily conversations with you about what you need and when.” 

Karen has also been impressed with the support and care her husband has been provided, she said: "Shaun has recently spent a week in hospital and it was very different there to here. Although the treatment Shaun got in hospital was very good, it is a different environment, a calmer environment to be in whilst in The Kirkwood. 

“I think it's been the right time for Shaun to come onto The Kirkwood's In-Patient Unit and have treatment because he's been struggling at home with the pain he's been in.

“I think it's been nice that his family and friends have been welcomed and made to feel comfortable to come in and see him. It's not like only one or two people at his bedside but the whole family and friends can see him.” 

Finally Karen talked about why she believes The Kirkwood is so important generally to the people of Kirklees. 

She said: “I think the lovely surroundings and nice environment really make people feel good, that was our first impression of how nice it was here.

“It makes you want to do stuff to raise money for The Kirkwood, because I just think it's really good when you see what's going on when you come onto the unit and see the exceptional work that goes on within the charity. 

“Whilst here you see why people really need to come and spend their last days here or have treatment for symptom management, I think it's quite humbling. It makes you look at things differently. The Kirkwood is so important and we can't thank them enough for the care they have provided Shaun.” 

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