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Bobby's story

Farleigh organises an out of this world patient experience

Farleigh patient Bobby McCaigue made his son’s dream come true recently with the help of Farleigh Hospice.

Bobby, 32, is a Royal Engineer attached to 16 Air Assault Brigade. In 2019 he was diagnosed with an astrocytoma, a type of brain tumour.

Earlier this year Bobby was advised that his condition was now palliative and he was referred to Farleigh Hospice.

Bobby and his wife Najette, along with their son, Harrison and daughter Teagan, have been supported by Farleigh at home, and in the inpatient unit (IPU) by Farleigh’s Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Family Support team, Spiritual Care team, and the Clinical team, to optimise his symptom control.

As part of this care, the Farleigh team made it a priority to create special memories, ensuring the McCaigue family spent quality time together as a family. The most memorable being a Zoom call with British astronaut Major Tim Peake.

Bobby and his son Harrison are fans of all things space related. Bobby had shared with his care team that one of the items on his wish list was to visit the Leicester Space Centre. Sadly, this was not possible due to limitations to his mobility, but Farleigh decided to bring space to Bobby in the IPU!

Bobby’s Physiotherapist Sally Davis, worked her magic to organise the meeting. Tim ‘zoomed’ into Farleigh’s IPU for a video chat with Bobby and his family and talked about all things space and military related.

Bobby said: “It was such a privilege to speak to Tim. He was fascinating to talk to. We are so grateful to Sally and the Farleigh staff for making this special moment happen! We loved it. He is such an inspirational man and we were blown away with how generous he was with his time. He even sent us some signed memorabilia for Harrison who is space obsessed, which was really kind of him.

“This experience and the care we have received both during our inpatient stay and from the hospice at home team is outstanding. Thank you so much! We are looking forward to doing what we can to give back, by raising awareness of the hospice and by doing as much fundraising as we can."

The family has already raised over £1,000 for Farleigh through sales of Bobby’s book, Hospital Paintings and Poems to my Children, which he created during stays in Broomfield Hospital and Farleigh Hospice.

Bobby said: “I’m now at home after a wonderful stay at Farleigh Hospice, I will never forget the kindness shown by the staff to me and my family. I wanted to do my bit to raise money for the hospice which is why I created my small book. My brother (Dave McCaigue) and I are selling it via Facebook, with the proceeds being donated to Farleigh. Thanks to everyone for buying it, and for your generous donations -they are going to an amazing charity that have supported my family and I through the toughest time.”

Farleigh Physiotherapist, Sally Davis said: “This was a lovely experience for the family and a special memory was most certainly made. We are really grateful to Tim for taking the time out of his very busy schedule to do this for them. It is a privilege to offer our support to Bobby and his family, and we are so glad that we were able to make this wish happen. We are so thankful to the McCaigue family for their amazing fundraising efforts on our behalf. Their donations will help us continue to provide care and support to those affected by life-limiting illness and bereavement in our local community.”

If you would like to buy Bobby’s book and make a donation to Farleigh Hospice please contact us.

The McCaigue family also recently took part in Farleigh’s Santa Fun Run.