Andy's Story

Andy and Jennifer Fawcett celebrate their 12th wedding anniversary this year and while every milestone is special, it is even more so for the loving couple as Andy was only given six months to live in 2013.  
Andy was just 22 when he went to the doctor with a pain in his back.
Following a series of tests, he was diagnosed with Hodkinson's Disease.  
Since then he has undergone intensive courses of radiotherapy and chemotherapy as the condition kept returning.  
And in 2013, Andy and Jennifer, who has spina bifida, received the devastating news that there was no other treatment available and Andy's only hope was a bone marrow transplant. 
Andy and Jennifer
"They got us together and told me I had six months if I did not have the bone marrow transplant," said Andy, who is Jennifer's full-time carer.  
"I just could not go through with it and I could not put Jennifer through it as she is unwell too." 
Andy was referred to Saint Francis Hospice and when he was admitted to the inpatient ward for pain control he feared the worst and so did Jennifer.  
Andy and Jennifer in Pemberton Place
"I had a vision of coming in and dying but it wasn't like that at all and those thoughts went away as soon as I arrived. I spent two weeks on the inpatient unit and they sorted out my pain and I received excellent care," said Andy. 
"I had my own room, the food was lovely and the staff do so much for you.  
"They were very kind to Jennifer too.
"She was able to stay with me as she didn't want to have to go back to our house alone."
Jennifer, 32, said, "I was so scared at first as I thought he was not going to come out and I would never see him again."  
Andy was well enough to return to their Romford home after a two week stay on the ward and was later contacted by the charity to find out if he was interested in attending its day services at Pemberton Place.  
"I came in and I loved it and I have been coming every week since," said Andy.   "I would be lost without the hospice.  
"Jennifer normally goes shopping in Romford on a Wednesday and I come here, have a chat with the nurses and have tea and biscuits.     
"It is so peaceful; I can just chill here.  
"The atmosphere is lovely and I like the grounds." 
Andy has previously taken part in arts and crafts activities and made a bag and cushion for Jennifer.  
He speaks with the doctors and nurses if he has any concerns and needs help to manage his pain. 
And he is also receiving support from Sue Spong, a Counsellor with the Family Support Services team.    
"Sue has helped me a lot," he added. 
"We chat about everything and anything.  
"Jennifer also knows the hospice is there to support her if anything happens to me." 
Andy is supporting our Summer Raffle, if you'd like to play please click here