“Coming here saved my life" - Simone's recovery story

Simone, 70, was diagnosed with a life-threatening heart disease and was given just two days to live. After being transferred to our Little Heath Care Home for end-of-life treatment, Simone has made a full recovery and can finally move in with her long-term partner for Valentine’s Day!

Simone, who has seven children, 28 grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren, was admitted to the BRI Hospital in March 2023, after being diagnosed with heart failure. Six months later, Simone was transferred to our Little Heath Care Home for end-of-life palliative care. 

When Simone arrived at Little Heath, she weighed only 48.6kg and was struggling to eat. She couldn’t get out of bed and could barely move or speak. Six months later, Simone weighs a healthy 70.8kg, and can walk on her own with little support. Simone is now packing her bags to leave Little Heath to move in with her long-term partner, Winston, 63, and their cat on Valentine’s Day.

Simone, who has previously worked as a nurse and a midwife, said: “I was given two days left to live when I came to Little Heath. I just accepted it because I was close to the end, but a little voice inside me said ‘Don’t give up’. The thought of my partner, and my family kept me going.”

Simone smiles at her carer Tara.

Simone is looking forward to starting the next chapter of her life with her partner. Simone and Winston have been together for 14 years after meeting at a bus stop in Bristol.

Simone said: “I was so shy that I asked a window cleaner if they knew who Winston was before I went up to talk to him. He’s Jamaican, so when we first started going out I went to his flat and he cooked me some traditional Jamaican food. It was lovely! We hit it off right away and we’ve been together for 14 years!”

Before being admitted to Little Heath for end-of-life care, Simone hadn’t walked for five years and was wheelchair-bound. However, since receiving care and support from the physiotherapist and team of carers at Little Heath, she can now walk with little to no help and has been able to make a full recovery.

Simone said: “The carers at Brunelcare took such great care of me, even at night! They’d take it in turns to see me, wash my hair, put my face cream on. They would even make me amazing chocolate sundaes so I could eat.”

Alongside the nursing care, Simone also took part in lots of activities at Little Heath – singing, colouring, art, basketball, and would even get up and dance to her favourite song: ‘Hips Don’t Lie’ by Shakira!

Simone said: “Coming here saved my life – I’m going to miss it here a lot. From my heart, I’ve never known such excellent nurses. They are amazing, and it’s a miracle that I was brought here. They make you feel so at home, cheer you up and keep you happy.

“I’m looking forward to going home so I can be with my partner and family, see my kitten, and be able to go for walks to the shop. On the day I get home, Winston is going to cook me something nice for Valentine’s Day and light some candles! He’ll be a big support.”

Tara, Simone’s primary carer at Brunelcare said: “It’s a bittersweet moment, as we don’t want to say goodbye to Simone, but it’s what we’ve wanted, to see her be able to go back home. We’re going to visit her when she’s back because we’ll miss her, and we’re so happy to see how well she’s done.”