Remembering Phil Bush: A Tribute to a Beloved Family Man
In the heart of East Lancashire Hospice, a remarkable story unfolded—a story of love, courage, and community support. It's a story that reminds us of the strength that binds us during the most challenging times of our lives. Today, we pay tribute to Phil Bush, a cherished patient who left a legacy of love and resilience.
A Loving Husband and Dad
Phil Bush was more than just a patient at East Lancashire Hospice; he was a family man, a peace-keeper, and a dedicated husband and father to his wife, Karen, and his children; he was the best dad and husband anyone could hope for.
His love for his family and grandchildren was the driving force behind the remarkable journey he embarked on and every moment he spent with his children and grandchildren was precious to him. His family was his source of strength, and he cherished every opportunity to create lasting memories with them.
Phil and his wife, Karen had been together for 37 years and were still so in love. His children were his absolute world and his precious grandchildren, he’d spend every minute he could with them, despite how tired he may have felt after treatment.
A Passion for Motorbikes
Phil's love for motorbikes was legendary. He was a true enthusiast, and his passion for two-wheeled adventures was infectious. Whether it was the thrill of the open road or the banter with fellow riders, Phil found joy in the motorcycling community. His passion for bikes served as a reminder that life is meant to be lived to the fullest, no matter the challenges we face.
His love for motorbikes was present even at his funeral, as he was escorted by several bikers of the community on his final journey. He also had a Harley Davidson escort, with Karen wearing his leathers. As his loved ones said their final goodbye, Phil’s ceremony finished with ‘ACDC’s Highway to Hell.’
Phil’s family requested that instead of buying flowers, those who attended his funeral made a donation to East Lancashire Hospice, and as a result, the family raised £675 for the charity.
In 2018, Phil was diagnosed with bowel cancer and was soon sent for surgery, this was then followed by chemotherapy treatment which caused terrible side effects. Despite the ups and downs treatment was causing, he stayed positive for his family and was given the news his cancer had stopped growing. A year on, he returned to work for some normality, but in 2020 his cancer had come back, this time to his lungs. The family were devastated.
Phil’s wife, Karen, said, “When we heard the news that his cancer was back, Philip had an attitude of - you’re back, ok! But I’ll fight again, and I’ll win!”
She continued, “From then on we faced continual challenges with chemo side effects, which he never really complained about, he always said; I have too much to fight for. He loved us all and just didn’t want to let go.”
Sadly, things turned in 2022, when the consultant told Phil and Karen that his cancer had now spread into his brain. He was once again sent for surgery to remove the tumour and began radiotherapy.
“He was terrified, but he said he needed more time with us.” Karen said.
After surgery and radiotherapy, Phil developed memory problems and soon after his treatment, the family were told more lesions were found in his brain. It was at that point Phil made the very tough decision to stop any further treatment. The consultant told him that it was time to go and make memories with his family and that’s exactly what he did.
Unfortunately, in May 2023 Phil’s health declined quickly and he was admitted to the Inpatient Unit straight away at East Lancashire Hospice.
Phil was known as a joker and loved a laugh. Even throughout his chemo, Phil would crack a joke and the family found laughter as their guide.
The whole family came together for one last holiday and stayed in a beautiful lake house in Windermere, where they could have the privacy they needed to make lasting memories.
During the week they went on a boat trip across the lake and for weeks after the holiday, Phill would sit on his sofa at home with his eyes closed dreaming of the lake and the memories they all made.
Karen commented, “He would sit in his chair with his eyes closed and tell us that he was back on the lake, it made him smile.”
A Remarkable Journey at East Lancashire Hospice
As Phil's cancer journey reached its final stages, he found comfort and care at East Lancashire Hospice. Here, he was surrounded by a dedicated team of healthcare professionals who provided not just medical care but also emotional support, allowing him to spend his last moments in peace and dignity, surrounded by his loved ones.
“We were all scared of Phil going into the hospice, but from the moment we arrived, we were treated with the most caring attitude and Phil soon felt settled. The care and compassion shown to myself and Phil from the doctors, nurses, HCA’s, and Cleaners was amazing. Everyone went above and beyond for us. I felt like the hospice went the extra mile to make Phil’s last 5 weeks of his life more precious and comfortable.” Karen commented.
The Power of Community Support
Phil's story didn't end there, instead, it became a catalyst for something truly incredible. His family, deeply moved by the care he received at East Lancashire Hospice, decided to honour his memory by giving back. They organised an '80s/Rock Fancy Dress Party for the local community, a night filled with fun and nostalgia.
The event was a resounding success, raising over £2,000. This generous donation is a testament to the love and gratitude the Bush family felt toward the hospice and the community's unwavering support. It's a shining example of how ordinary people can come together to make an extraordinary difference.
Phil Bush's journey reminds us of the importance of cherishing every moment with our loved ones, pursuing our passions, and giving back to those who need our support. His legacy lives on in the hearts of his family, friends, and the community he touched with his story.
Phil’s family has plans for a second 80’s party and are looking at other ways that they can help to raise further funds for the hospice.
East Lancashire Hospice is not just a place of care; it's a place where stories like Phil's are written, celebrated, and remembered. We thank the Bush family for their incredible generosity and for allowing us to be a part of Phil's remarkable journey.
If you'd like to learn more about how you can support East Lancashire Hospice or share your own stories of love and resilience, please visit our website or get in touch with us today. Together, we can continue to help others make the most of life.