A terminally ill-man has fulfilled his final wish – to meet the hospice nurse he has raised £40,000 to employ.
This week Tony Jules, 63, finally came face to face with Lisa Jarman whom he describes as ‘his angel.’
Tony, 63, was recently told he has only days to live after suffering prostate cancer.
Despite his grave illness and becoming more and more tired every day, Tony turned his hospice bed into a fundraising hub.
Receiving donations from across the globe including Ghana, USA and Brazil, Tony managed to raise over £40,000 to hire Lisa for the hospice caring for him and pay for her costs for a year.
Yesterday (26/01), Tony came face-to-face with the nurse his incredible efforts brought to Keech Hospice, Luton, Beds.
On her first day at work, Tony’s angel, staff nurse Lisa, 24, described him as an amazing and selfless man.
She said: “When I got the job and found out I was Tony’s legacy it felt a little strange but such a privilege.
“I’ve never cared for a patient like Tony, who, at the end of his life, still thinks about the needs of others before his own.”
Armed with his laptop, diary and mobile phone, Tony spent the days he has left networking, pulling in favours and even asking visitors for small donations.
Tony’s mission received donations from all around the world including from the High Commissioner of Grenada.
On what he believes to be his final birthday, instead of asking for presents he asked all his friends and family to donate to the hospice.
The talented singer has also recorded and produced his own album from his bed which he has released.
Lisa added: “I’d heard about Tony’s final mission to get an angel but I never expected I would be it. I’m thrilled it’s me.
“To have done what Tony’s has is such a fantastic legacy to leave and the support he’s had from across the globe to achieve his dying wish is amazing.
“Having just joined Keech, I’ve only cared for Tony for a few days but it’s clear he’s such an intelligent man.
“Despite being so ill and growing more and more tired everyday, he still holds me in great conversation and is a pleasure to care for.”
Tony, who is paralysed from the waist down, revealed his disease has caused all his family to now have their prostate checked.
The father of two said: “Never did I think I would be battered by this disease and it had never crossed my mind to get my prostate checked.
“My family, wife, sons’ and mum were in shock, horror and total surprise when I told them.
“When the cancer took it really took. Despite radiotherapy and drug treatments, I suffered from a collapsed spinal chord and now have no control over my lower half.
“From the top up I look fine but I can no longer walk, and from the bottom down, it’s a totally different story.
“I’m not afraid of dying, I’ve accepted it. I’ve never dwelled on the fact my cancer was terminal.
Tony, of Luton, Beds., added that he dreaded the thought of ending up in a hospice but after spending time at one his view was completely changed
He said: “People say to me ‘with the little time you have left Tony, why do this, surely you could spend your day doing other things.
“My view of hospices, and especially Keech, has been transformed overnight. That’s why I’m doing this.
“When I’ve gone others will need their own angels.
“I’m so grateful to have achieved my final mission and to have met, and even been cared for by my own angel.
“If I’m honest, I didn’t know if I’d be around long enough to get her, let alone meet her.
“Lisa is fantastic, as are all the nurses here at Keech Hospice Care, and I feel satisfied knowing Lisa will go on to care for others just like me and their families long after I’ve gone.
“I’ve worked as the First Secretary for the Grenada High Commission, redeveloped troubled estates in London and was the Programme Director behind the £48.8 million regeneration of the troubled Marsh Farm Estate in Luton.
“I always thought these would be my legacies but I wanted one more in place before I died – and here Lisa is.”