Mr Chi Keung Tao, also known as Ben, was admitted on our Inpatient Unit (IPU) on the 5th of April 2022. Ben was diagnosed with cancer and placed in our care for symptom control and possible end-of-life treatment. His health was rapidly deteriorating and he was struggling to move.

Ben lived most of his life in Hong Kong. A loving family-orientated person who appreciated cooking and spending time with his family over a homecooked meal. For over a year, Ben enjoyed London life with his wife, Vivien, and their son and daughter. On arrival at the Hospice, Ben told Vivien and the Hospice nurses that he wished to be baptised. With his condition worsening, Ben explained that he felt a rising wish to welcome God into his life. Vivien was happy to do everything she could to help fulfil his final wish.

Sister Ann Venita from Daughters of the Cross visited Ben and Vivien the day after they arrived at the Hospice to offer support and warm conversation. They spoke about the baptism, where Ben shared his hope of joining the Church of England. Sister Ann happily arranged for Reverend David Heath Whyte from Saint Laurence Church in Morden to visit them and perform the service.

On Ben and Vivien’s 25th wedding anniversary, the 14th of April, Reverend Whyte baptised Ben in the comfort of his Hospice bed. A momentous and meaningful occasion in the couple’s lives.

The following day, Vivien was elated to see her husband smiling, his spirits uplifted and his strength unexpectedly improving. Vivien felt overcome with gratitude for his remarkable recovery. With each daily visit from Sister Ann came surprises with Ben’s improvement, an unbelievable sight to see that he was looking better with each passing day. On the 20th of April, with Vivien at his side, Ben was well enough to leave his bed and wheel himself to the Hospice chapel. This was the very first time that Ben had prayed in a chapel, hand in hand with his wife.

Remarkably, six days later – with over 20 days in the IPU – Ben was well enough to be discharged to the comfort of his own home under the care of the Community team. Sister Ann continued to speak with the couple each day. Their days continued to be filled with all-encompassing gratitude to be home together, as a family. Despite his illness, Ben was always trying to help around the house and make sure that his family was happy.

Ben Tao passed away on the 5th of May, a month after his Hospice admission.

The Tao family have shared that their experience with the Hospice has been priceless for them. From the personal level of care to the precious and unexpected gift of extra time with their husband and father.

Small gestures and acts can make a world of difference. If this is inspiring and you would like to show your support, you can make a donation which will be directly contribute to the wellbeing of our patients like Ben.


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