Elwyn Lewis didn’t like to dance but he met his future wife, Pauline, at a dance over 50 years ago and from then on he accompanied her to many gigs, where the couple developed a wide network of friends. Elwyn’s daughter Joanne describes him as ‘a well loved man.’
They went on to have 2 daughters, Joanne and Alison and 3 grandchildren, Jamie, Kelsey and Ellie (pictured here with Elwyn). A real family man, when Elwyn retired from his job at an iron foundry he took over the childcare for his grandchildren and walked all of his families’ dogs. Elwyn was being treated for leukaemia for 6 years, and the family were told that the disease in itself was not life threatening.
However over Easter 2015 he was diagnosed with colon cancer which had spread to his liver. Elwyn and Pauline talked about his end of life care and his wish was to die at home. The whole family respected his decision and agreed to do what they could to ensure they fulfilled his wish.
As Elwyn’s disease progressed, he felt he was burdening his family and suggested that he should go into a hospice, even though this is not what any of them wanted. Night times were understandably a struggle and Helen’s Trust were approached to support the family, so they could rest to be able to spend quality time during the day with Elwyn.
Pauline said ‘We couldn’t have managed without the extra support Helen’s Trust provided. We have no doubt that without those night sits Elwyn would have ended up in either the hospital or hospice.’
Being at home meant that Elwyn could not only have his family around him, but neighbours and friends could pop in to see him at any time. Also, it meant Elwyn was able to look at his beloved garden, and still watch horse racing on his own TV. Grandson Jamie lives on the Isle of Man, and he visited his granddad in the final few days of Elwyn’s life.
Jamie is a great cook and he prepared a meal each night for his family. Even though Elwyn didn’t have much of an appetite by this time and he didn’t eat a lot, the whole family ate round his bedside and the memories of these times are so special to the whole family.
Sadly Elwyn passed away on 27th August 2015, at home, as was his wish, surrounded by all his family and his beloved dogs, just 3 weeks after he and Pauline celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary on 7th August.
Elwyn’s daughter Alison says ‘Dad wanted to leave his body to medical science but because of his leukaemia and the chemotherapy he received, unfortunately this wasn’t possible.
We know that he would have been really proud for us to share his story, to help the charity who helped us, to raise awareness of their services and support others in a similar position.’