Search

A day at the hospice is a good day, says patient Tom.

PUBLISHED: 18:00 23 March 2014

Tom Eaton enjoying reflexology with complementary therapy volunteer Michele Roy.

Tom Eaton enjoying reflexology with complementary therapy volunteer Michele Roy.

Archant

»Tom Eaton has mesothelioma, an asbestos-related cancer of the lungs.

Tom Eaton with health care assistant Aimee Mabbort in the inpatient unit (IPU)Tom Eaton with health care assistant Aimee Mabbort in the inpatient unit (IPU)

His illness is lonely at times, he says, but regular visits to Saint Francis Hospice’s day therapy unit, has given the 84-year-old many reasons to be cheerful.

“When I first attended day therapy I was feeling very down,” Tom said. “I had lost my appetite, but I can honestly say that first day in day therapy was one of the loveliest days I’d had for months.”

Tom led a healthy and active life before the diagnosis in the summer, regularly playing golf and walking his dog.

It was on one of these walks that a woman expressed concern about his health: he had had a dry cough for several months.

Devastatingly, a scan revealed a dark patch at the bottom of his right lung and Tom was sent to St Bartholomew’s Hospital where he was told he had mesothelioma.

Reluctant

Tom was later visited at his Barkingside home by a Macmillan nurse, who asked him if he would be interested in going to Saint Francis Hospice for therapy.

Despite his initial reluctance, Tom attended therapy for the first time in August.

“I knew of the hospice as my wife Alice was a fundraiser for them,” said Tom.

“But I was bit reluctant to go because I thought the therapy would just be a talking shop with tea and biscuits.

“Having a life-limiting illness can be a very lonely thing but it has been so good to meet other patients with different illnesses and talk through our experiences.

“All the staff are lovely and smiling.

“I’ve also enjoyed reflexology and the whole way you are treated just makes you feel happier.”

Tom also attended the in-patient unit (IPU) earlier in the year to be monitored and have his medication reassessed after he stopped eating well and his energy levels dropped.

After his condition improved he was discharged and resumed his course of day therapy treatment seven days later.

Tom has never smoked but it is believed he contracted the disease when living near the Cape Asbestos factory in Victoria Road, Barking, as a schoolboy.

He has since been successful in claiming compensation despite the fact the factory has never accepted liability.

“In many ways I’m fortunate,” said Tom. “I can still shop, wash and even iron, but these days I suffer from increasing bouts of breathlessness.”

0 comments

Latest Romford News Stories

Yesterday, 15:00

There are not many pop culture icons that are cooler than Dusty Springfield.

Yesterday, 12:00

A dance music festival will not only be entertaining thousands of music lovers this year but will also be helping the homeless.

Yesterday, 10:00

17th century sea captain Andrew Branfill’s name lives on in a street name and even a school. But, says Prof Ged Martin, his business was people trafficking

Fri, 17:14

Reporters Matthew Clemenson and Ralph Blackburn joined Time 107.5 FM’s Steve Allen for this week’s East London News Review podcast.

Fri, 17:00

With the now-lost royal palace, the Roman Road and centuries-old Romford Market part of its past (and present), Havering really does have a rich and varied history.

Fri, 14:50

A woman was thrown into a betting shop window after a car, allegedly driven by an elderly driver, crashed into her this afternoon.

Fri, 13:00

A shop that has served parents and their children for generations is set to close after 65 years.

Fri, 11:03

A woman who lost her brother in a tragic accident 27 years ago is desperately trying to raise cash to give him a fitting memorial.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

News from your area

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now