Married couple, Adrian and Tess, smiling at camera

When Tess was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour last year, she and her husband Adrian agreed that they wanted her to stay in their family home. Treetops Hospice nurses are supporting them with end-of-life nursing care so they can remain together.

Tess and Adrian are sharing their story to help Treetops raise money so more patients and families can receive care and support in the future.
Tess’s diagnosis was unexpected, as Adrian explains:
“In 2016, Tess had a Grand Mal epileptic seizure at work. She was diagnosed with a large brain tumour on her left-hand frontal lobe. We were told it was inoperable and incurable. Miraculously, 12 months later, the tumour showed signs of shrinkage. A year later, it didn’t show on scans and for the following four years, Tess enjoyed a normal, full life.

A scan showed another aggressive tumour

“In March last year, Tess started having physical problems that she thought were related to old age. A scan showed another aggressive tumour, this time growing in the right-hand frontal lobe behind her eye.
The tumour started to shut her down. There was no treatment available for Tess aside from intensive surgery and there were so many risks associated with this, it seemed better just to have quality of life.”
Smiling woman with turquoise jacket holding flowers

We did everything together

Tess and Adrian met in 1980, a chance meeting that ‘developed into unconditional love’:
“Tess and I have been married for 41 years this year and have always lived in our family home in Ashbourne. "We did everything together; we just ‘worked’. We spent most of our free time bee-keeping. We had lots of hives and sold thousands of jars of honey every year.
"When Tess was diagnosed, it was the most important thing for us to be together and be in control of our destinies. We had lived inseparably and needed to be together even more so now. We hadn't considered at the time what this decision might entail or how difficult it might become.”
Smiling woman dressed as a bee with headband and yelllow shawl

Vital support from Treetops

Treetops Hospice nurses are helping care for Tess during the day, and overnight. The support is vital to the couple.
I don’t think I would be able to have Tess at home without the nurses’ help. It's very demanding and intense caring for someone at this time in their life. Tess needs a lot of support and the Treetops nurses make a huge difference.
“They not only help with her physical care, but also with her mental wellbeing. Although conversation is less these days, I know Tess enjoys the different company and alternative therapies, especially hand and arm massages.

Without the nurses, it would be very difficult to keep Tess at home

“The care feels personal and without the nurses, it would be very difficult to keep Tess at home. I can’t imagine what it would be like without Treetops.
“It can get a bit stir-crazy, being home all the time. The nurses give me the opportunity to get out and have a break, if I need to. I feel more at peace and rested because I know they are here for Tess. I have the reassurance that there’s someone who knows what to do, if she needs any help.
“And it’s nice to have people to talk to. It isn't so much the physical side of caring. It can be very lonely and terribly taxing mentally, especially when it’s someone so close to you."
Young couple sitting on a fence next to a river smiling
Treetops hopes to raise over £12,000 in their appeal. Proceeds will help provide more end-of-life nursing care for patients in the local community.
Treetops nurse with carer
A donation of £24 helps a Treetops nurse be at a patient’s bedside two hours.
Treetops Roaming Nurse
A donation of £67 helps a patient receive a visit from the Treetops Roaming Nurse Service.
Treetops nurse with patient
A donation of £108 helps provide a patient who has chosen to die in their own home with a night of Hospice at Home nursing care.