Please help ensure our angels of mercy can care for others

THANKS From left, Sharon Larkin with her mother Olive Prill, who lost her husband Ken,  inset, in February this year.  Picture:''Steve Reid (120892-964)
THANKS From left, Sharon Larkin with her mother Olive Prill, who lost her husband Ken, inset, in February this year. Picture:''Steve Reid (120892-964)

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WHEN he knew the end was coming, Ken Prill wanted to spend his final days surrounded by friends and family in the home he loved.

And the 82-year-old was able to die with peace and dignity thanks to the wonderful work of nurses at The Rowans Hospice.

Its hospice at home service is funded by the Dorothy’s Dream appeal, an ambitious project funded by donations.

The fund stands at £800,000 – tantalisingly close to its £1m target.

And today Mr Prill’s widow Olive urged readers of The News to help the hospice achieve its magic million.

The Rowans stepped in to help after Ken was diagnosed with terminal cancer of the oesophagus.

Mrs Prill, 79, of The Fairways, Gosport, who would have celebrated her 60th anniversary with her husband this year, said: ‘The nurses were absolutely fantastic – they were angels of mercy.

‘Ken had been ill for a long time but didn’t like to visit the doctors.

‘He was having trouble swallowing and he was sent for tests, which revealed he had the cancer.

‘As soon as he was diagnosed we were passed on to palliative care and we were lucky to get The Rowans.

‘He didn’t want to go to a hospital but he didn’t want to die in a hospice either, he wanted to pass away at home with his family around him.’

The Purbrook-based Rowans Hospice launched its 18-month hospice at home scheme last September. It is named Dorothy’s Dream because of the line ‘There’s no place like home’ in The Wizard of Oz.

Mum-of-five Mrs Prill thanked hospice staff, including clinical nurse specialist AnMarie Channer – and said she wanted to speak out to make sure donations come in to keep the hospice at home service going.

She said: ‘It’s not been that long since he died and we want to tell people it’s a great service and it cannot be lost.

‘His death was very peaceful and dignified.’

Mr Prill’s daughter Sharon Larkin, 49, added: ‘He died so peacefully.

‘The Rowans were on the other end of the phone all the time and would come round if you needed help or felt unsure of things.

‘I don’t know what we would have done without them.’

Service has helped 136 families – but more cash is needed

THE Dorothy’s Dream appeal is supported by The News and many fundraising events have taken place for its benefit throughout the last year.

The fund stands at £800,000 and The Rowans Hospice was able to get the service up and running without hitting its £1m target.

So far, 136 patients like Ken Prill have benefited from hospice care at home.

But the hospice still desperately needs to raise the remaining £200,000 to ensure it can continue.

Fundraising events take place across the area – and here are some ways you can help:

· Buy a raffle ticket for £1 and win a new Citroen C1, courtesy of Richmond Citroen.

· A Voices Concert takes place on Friday, March 23, at Barton Hall, Barton Cross, Horndean, starting at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £10.

· The D-Day Brass Quintet will be in concert in Southwick Church, near Fareham, on Friday, March 30 at 7.30pm.

· And you can donate £5 by texting Dream to 70800.