When you’re six years old and your Daddy dies, your whole world falls apart.
But Luca Morgan has amazed his super proud Mum with his courage and determination to raise as much money as possible for the hospice that cared for his Dad, Dean, by running the BUPA junior 2K race in Manchester – just two months after Dean died from oesophageal cancer at the age of just 39.
“It was very emotional and I am just so proud of Luca,” said Caroline, who also has a three-year-old son Maxi.
“I am absolutely astounded by Luca’s resolve to raise money for Ashgate Hospice. He has shown such courage and strength at the hardest time.”
Dean died just three months after being diagnosed with oesophageal cancer, which had spread to his liver. Devastated Dean and Caroline were told the cancer was inoperable on the day of Luca’s school Christmas play.
“We were just both in shock.” said Caroline, who was with Dean for 23 years after meeting as 15 year-olds. Dean was very ill after an initial course of chemotherapy and decided not to have any more treatment. The tumour was very aggressive and with his condition rapidly deteriorating, Dean was admitted to Ashgate Hospice where he spent seven weeks before his death on March 14.
“There was just no respite, no time to comprehend what was happening really” said Caroline. “When we first went to the hospice I was very nervous, but it was just an amazing place. We had a guest suite so Dean’s Mum stayed there the whole seven weeks and I stayed most nights and for all of the last three weeks too and we were able to give him all his personal care.”
“Dean was so terrified of dying and of having a painful death, but he was made very comfortable physically and received great emotional and spiritual support from the chaplain. The family support team was just brilliant and gave us as a family so much help, advice and support. For three weeks I was with Dean at Ashgate but the children came up every couple of days. They enjoyed the playroom and it did not feel like it was sad or terrible.”
“It has made the most difficult journey that anyone could possibly go through as bearable as it can be. Both before and after Dean died he, and we, were treated with the upmost respect.”
“Everyone at Ashgate was above and beyond all the time. Without Ashgate, I could not imagine what we would have had to go through.”