A devoted dad’s ‘happy’ life torn apart after being diagnosed with cancer

A devoted father who lived for his family had his life torn apart after being diagnosed with a rare type of cancer.

Hugh McIvor was diagnosed with bile duct cancer in September 2019 when he was 69.

Hugh’s diagnosis became even more heartbreaking for him and his family when he was told his cancer was inoperable and terminal, Belfast Live reports.

Left with just two options, Hugh, from Derry, was told he could have no treatment, where he would have an average of four months left to live, or he would have the treatment and double his survival time.

The man chose to start treatment and even then he was more concerned about his wife and daughter Patricia who have additional needs.

His daughter, Kerry Robinson, said her father was an “absolute gentleman” and was “happiest when his family was doing well”.

She said: “His four grandchildren absolutely adored him, he was the grandfather who built sandpits, taught them all about his garden and pulled them on his sled through the snow.

“The nurses at Foyle Hospice became involved with my dad right after his diagnosis, through their community palliative care team.

“The nurses were amazing, nothing was too much trouble for them, they sorted out whatever was needed.

“They were also very supportive of us as a family. I remember phoning one of his nurses a few weeks before my father died.

“His nurse was totally honest but supportive of what was going to happen in the next few weeks. With the support of Hospice Foyle, my dad died peacefully at home surrounded by his family.”

Kerry Robinson (Hugh’s daughter) with her mother and children

After the death of her father, Kerry and her family participated in hospices Healing Hearts children and youth bereavement support service.

“The Healing Hearts service is something I didn’t know about but will be forever grateful for,” Kerry added.

“My daughters were nine and 12 when their grandfather passed away. The eldest daughter has Down’s syndrome and I was wondering how to explain what was happening to my two daughters.

“It was my father’s nurse who asked him when he was sick if one of his grandchildren could possibly benefit from the service. He said he would be worried about my daughter nine years old, who was very close to his grandmother.

“I was then contacted by Michelle Kosky of Healing Hearts. Words can never express how grateful I am for the support Michelle has given our family.

“Ten months after my father passed away, we also lost my beloved sister Patricia. Michelle worked with my daughter and helped her through a very scary time.”

On June 12, Kerry will take part in the Foyle Hospice Female Walk with her mother, sister and daughters in memory of her late father and to raise money for the local hospice.

Kerry’s father, Hugh, was a huge supporter of Foyle Hospice and she had decided to carry on his legacy by becoming a promoter of Foyle Hospice’s weekly raffle.

She continued: “I will be participating in the walk, along with my mum, sister and two daughters. As a family we owe Foyle Hospice so much, we will always be grateful for their support and care.”

The tradition of the annual walks will continue this year with a colorful and fun t-shirt that will make fundraising fun again.

You can register for the Women’s March at the Foyle Hospice fundraising office or online HERE.

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