The wife of a former St Raphael’s patient has spoken about how important the hospice was to her family.
Paul Marcus, a director and producer in theatre, film and television died in February 2011 at the age of 56.
He is best known for his award-winning work as producer of the TV series Prime Suspect starring Helen Mirren.
The series won several awards including best actress for Helen Mirren and a BAFTA that went to Mr Marcus himself.
He was diagnosed with a rare type of non- Hodgkin lymphoma in 2008.
His wife, Viviana from Wimbledon said: “Telling our daughters – Rafaella, and Olivia, was terrible.
Rafaella was in her final year at Oxford reading English and Olivia studying GCSEs. I had to ask Rafaella to come home. They were devastated - it’s the worst thing you can imagine having to tell
At St Raphael’s Hospice, Mr Marcus was under the care of Dr Marie Joseph, medical director, who suggested Mrs Marcus organise a private ambulance to take him to Rafaella’s play at Oxford
Mrs Marcus said: “On the Friday night he was barely speaking, then on Saturday morning he woke up and said ‘Let’s go’.”
At the theatre in Oxford, Mr Marcus was moved on a stretcher straight to the balcony so he was able to sit upright and look down on the stage.
Mrs Marcus said: “St Raphael’s Hospice had worked its magic – it had meant such a great deal to all of us. Rafaella came home the next day and stayed until the end.”
After this, Mrs Marcus slept at the hospice every night. A week after Paul died, Olivia auditioned for the National Youth Theatre and was accepted.
Rafaella graduated last summer with a First Class Honours degree and Mrs Marcus said: “His visit to Oxford could not have been made possible anywhere else but St Raphael’s Hospice.
“No-one other than St Raphael’s Hospice would understand what something like that means to a dying man and his family.
“The actions of the Hospice sustained us for many months after Paul died. It meant everything to us.”