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‘I’m tackling this head on and finding a way I can help’ says terminally ill man

A 56-year-old man with terminal cancer spoke of his experience living with limited time during a global pandemic as part of ‘Dying Matters’ Week (11-17 May).

Paul Budden has been dealing with the impact of Covid-19 whilst facing his terminal illness of advanced stage 4 prostate cancer. Due to his condition, Paul is self-isolating with his wife, Holly, for a minimum of 12 weeks which is a struggle for many people in similar situations.

Holly and Paul Budden

Despite the limitations of lockdown and his diagnosis, Paul’s spirit is not broken, and he spends his time in isolation giving back to the NHS. Paul said: “I’m tackling this head on and finding a way that I can help, whilst keeping myself safe is very important to me. Giving back to the NHS and following this campaign gives me a level of support during our ‘new normal’.”

Paul and Holly are busy producing face shields as part of much needed Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) with their 3D printer and are dropping off the products to nurses during his hospital appointments. Having distributed 80 face shields since March, Paul said: “This way, I can help keep our vital health warriors healthy and safe. Turns out that all they have is masks, no shields or anything in the cancer unit. I left them 25 shields with my Cancer Nurse Specialist who was very grateful.”

Paul and Holly are supporting the Dying Matters campaign in Essex, led by Dying Matters in Essex, a dedicated group of local organisations providing support across the county.

Clare Turner (pictured right), founder of huunuu, a key partner in the group said: “Everyone knows that talking helps most situations and I have always believed we should talk about dying. Dying Matters week serves to highlight these issues and given our own personal circumstances I feel it’s really important to take this opportunity to get involved and encourage our communities to talk to their loved ones.” 

“My brother, Paul, is no different except a consultant has told him he has limited time, but death is the one true common denominator across the globe! My hope through this truly awful time for families, friends, carers and clinicians is that we all talk and share a little bit more and take time to listen to each other.”

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