David on getting support

David hugging his Macmillan physiotherapist, Karen.
David hugging his Macmillan physiotherapist, Karen.

When David was diagnosed with throat cancer it turned his world upside down. He had been a prominent member of his local rugby club and a driving instructor, but the effects of his treatment meant that he could no longer walk, swallow or eat. This resulted in him losing over six and a half stone in two months. David became very depressed, but luckily Macmillan were there to help.

David's story

I was struggling so my wife Pat rang up Julia and Caroline, the Macmillan nurses, and they said ‘if you can come down here in the next hour we’ll have somebody to see you.’ So my brother John took me down. I went in the wheelchair then because I couldn’t walk.

I saw a speech and swallowing therapist. They gave me a glass of water and I was coughing it up straight away. So she said, ‘Put two fingers on your Adam’s apple and if you feel it going down and coming back up hold your Adam’s apple there’. And, believe it or not right, I managed to keep down a mouthful of water.

Kathy, my Macmillan physiotherapist, was everything. Her ability to listen, understand, and know what the person wanted was amazing. She had a little walkway with bars to walk along about five metres long - she had me walking up and down there. Her qualifications and her ability to do her job was second to none. When I left the sessions I felt lifted. Kathy was the key that opened the door to make me think ‘David you can beat this.’ 

We give a donation to Macmillan every month and I have left something to them in my will

I will always be in debt to Kathy and Macmillan. Without them I know I wouldn’t have lasted a year. I don’t think I would have had the fight.


David sits next to his Macmillan physiotherapist, Karen.

Watch: all about David's experiences

Watch: all about David's experiences