Liz and Michael
Michael and Liz moved into the village of Great Longstone over 10 years ago, they were welcomed into the village and soon became accepted as part of the community, which during the last few months of Michael's life they were very grateful for.
Michael and Liz had been married for over 40 years, having known each other since being teenagers.
Michael's passion was collecting clocks, however, over the years his collection has had to be 'downsized' according to the size of the property in which they had lived - leaving him with his beloved 17th Century Cuckoo clock which 'koos' when it should 'cuck' and his first ever clock purchased, a one hand Peasant Clock.
Unfortunately Michael first became ill at the young age of 49 when he suffered his first heart attack. Over the following 19 years Michael experienced a further 5 heart attacks, the last being in December 2015 when he and Liz were informed his life expectancy was limited.
At receiving this news, Michael and Liz decided they were going to live their lives to the fullest. No more hospitals, just concentrating on their lives together at home with their dog Jay, and his home comforts.
Liz cared for Michael, with support from their son Jason, for many months until they decided that battling alone was becoming increasingly difficult and exhausting.
Michael's friends within the village visited on a regular basis, giving Liz a well earned break from her caring role. He always enjoyed their conversations and even when his health began to deteriorate he always found the time and strength to continue enriching their conversations with his humorous quips!
It was only during the last few weeks of his life that Michael and Liz acknowledged they needed to accept additional support to ensure his safety and to provide the increased level of care required to achieve Michael's wish of being able to remain at home.
At this point Michael's GP suggested a request be submitted to Helen's Trust for support for both Michael and Liz. Helen's Trust spent time discussing with Liz what she thought would be of benefit for them both and it was decided that Helen's Trust would provide carers to sit with Michael overnight so that Liz was able to obtain an undisturbed night's sleep.
Having someone to sit with Michael overnight gave me peace of mind that he was not alone and enabled me to obtain the sleep that I so needed. Michael soon became comfortable with the agency carer and enjoyed having someone to talk to and share a coffee and a chocolate biscuit with when he was unable to sleep. Without the assistance from Helen's Trust I would not have been able to maintain the level of care Michael required and ensure his safety, on a 24/7 basis
In August 2016 Michael died peacefully at home, where he had wished.