My name is Sophia Lucop-Leech, I’m 43 and I live in Didsbury with my daughter Ava who is 10. My husband Mark died in 2013 aged just 43.
It was 2011 that he began to complain of pains in his shoulder. He became constantly tired and looked jaundiced. He went to the GP and very quickly they diagnosed him with lymphoma. It was stage 4 - the worst.
He was admitted to hospital straight away and they discovered that it had gone into his bone marrow and various other areas. We just clung to the hope that he’d recover, without thinking much further.
We were recommended Beechwood by our Doctors surgery. The family counsellors gave us invaluable advice about using open and honest language with Ava which I think helped her understand how very ill Mark was.
Mark had a stem cell transplant at the end of 2011. He was in hospital for a while and Ava couldn’t visit him as children aren’t allowed on the haematology ward, because of the high risk of infections. The family team at Beechwood suggested we got a book that they could send back and forth to each other with drawings and messages. It was a lovely idea and let Mark and Ava keep in touch.
Sadly Mark died on 2 May 2013. Ava and I were devastated. The support of family and friends pulled us through the worst grief along with the Beechwood team. The family team encouraged Ava to write letters to her daddy after he died so she could let him know what she was doing and how she was feeling.
We know Beechwood is here for us whenever we need them and that is a big comfort.