Latest News | 2 July 2024

Family to take part in fund-raising walk to say thanks to hospice

Treetops Hospice Care
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The family and friends of a Derby man who was given end-of-life care by nurses at Treetops Hospice have signed up to take part in a fund-raising walk in aid of the charity.

John Busby, 72, who was affectionately known as ‘Buzz’, was looked after by nurses from the Risley-based hospice earlier this year.

Now, his wife Ellen, along with daughter Zoe and Buzz’s friends, will be taking part in the Treetops Hospice Moonlight Walk on Friday 6 September.

Proceeds from the sponsored 10k night walk helps fund Treetops nursing care for local patients at the very end of life, in their own home.

According to Ellen, the Hospice at Home and Roaming Nurse Service played a vital role for her, Buzz and their family.

She said: “The Treetops nurses’ support meant we could be together as a family at home.

“The nurses were amazing, caring, and truly dedicated to end-of-life care.

“It made the last few days of Buzz’s life so calm and comfortable.

“He was peaceful, and he was pain-free. He passed away peacefully and with dignity.”

The couple, who celebrated their 50th golden wedding anniversary in February, first met on holiday in Italy.

Buzz asked Ellen to dance on the first night of his holiday and their romance blossomed.

Around 20 years ago, Buzz was diagnosed as diabetic and having a fatty liver, conditions that the couple lived with for many years.

But at the start of the pandemic, Buzz was diagnosed with ‘autoimmune hepatitis’, a rare liver disease where the body’s immune system causes damage to its own healthy liver cells.

Despite medication and regular blood tests, Buzz started to get weaker and every few months needed fluid draining from his abdomen.

Ellen, who is a retired nurse, said: “Just over two years ago, we saw the consultant who said Buzz’s liver was gradually deteriorating. He estimated he’d got about 12 to 18 months left.

“It came as a shock to both of us. But we said we’ve just got to do what we want to do and get Buzz’s bucket list sorted out.”

The couple were referred to Treetops Hospice for end-of-life care six months later.

Treetops Hospice at Home nurses and the Roaming Nurse Service helped care for Buzz, giving Ellen much needed ‘me time’.

Ellen said: “I found it hard to let go. I was his wife and felt it was my role to care for him. And it was the nurse in me too.

“Buzz was frightened to be on his own at home, so the Treetops nurses would sit with him. They were so, so lovely with him and it meant I wasn’t worrying about him while I went to do some shopping or go to the bank.

“I wasn’t getting much sleep, so the nurses also came at night. They were so caring and professional. “

Participants in the Moonlight Walk can take on a 5k or 10k route, starting and ending at Bustler Market in Derby.

Ellen said: “It’s so important to us to fundraise for Treetops to give something back and say thank you.

“Our son, Lee, ran the London Marathon for Treetops in April. Lee had his dad’s photo and name on his T-shirt, so he knew he was with him, and it spurred him on.

“Buzz was full of praise for Lee and said, ‘Treetops deserves all the money we can get for them’.

“I could never run a marathon so when we saw the Moonlight Walk, my daughter said, ‘That’s it, that’s what we’re going to do’.”

The Treetops Moonlight Walk entry fee is £18.

Everyone who takes part is encouraged to raise £48 in sponsorship, which will fund four hours of Hospice at Home nursing care for local patients at the very end of life.

For more information and to sign up to take part visit .

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