One sunny Friday morning our Community Palliative Care Team (CPCT) set off to visit Joe, a Sicilian-born patient, to talk about life and family, and get to know him better. They received a very warm welcome from Joe and his partner and sat down to hear his inspiring story.

Entering the lounge, they couldn’t help but notice silver balloons hovering here and there about the room, a memento of his recent 60th birthday party. Joe talks proudly of the party held at his brother’s restaurant in Banstead. Amazingly, his extended family consists of an incredible 150 people and 134 of them attended to celebrate the day with him. Joe could not thank the Hospice medical team enough. With their help and some adjustments to his medication he was able to join his family for this very special occasion.

Joe moved to the UK from Sicily at the age of nine and has enjoyed a variety of careers since starting out as a hairdresser. After hairdressing, Joe moved into the restaurant business before settling into building and carpentry. He is a very creative and practical person, capable of planning and building things from scratch. He built the amazing glass-panel bar in the picture above. Joe’s talents and interests extend beyond planning and making things. He is a keen gardener and a passionate golfer, as well as crowned county champion for clay pigeon shooting in both 1996 and 1997.

In 2018 Joe was diagnosed with a brain tumour. Although shaken, he wasn’t prepared to let it define him and stop him living life the way he wanted to. He is a naturally focused and strong-minded person, and draws the power and strength not to give up from his family. As Joe says, family is the key to living a longer and happier life. By being able to receive hospice care at home, Joe can enjoy every minute with his family, surrounded by their love and affection.

The team left Joe’s house inspired by his open heart, passion for life, strength and dedication to his family. Thank you, Joe, for showing us what is truly important in our lives and how we should value every single moment.