BLOG: Plymouth Argyle Finn makes patient Michael’s day

“It’s an amazing place, and you never know who you’re going to meet!”

St Luke’s patient Michael Scott thought his eyes were playing tricks on him when he spotted top Plymouth Argyle player Finn Azaz walking onto the ward in our specialist unit at Turnchapel.

“Never in a million years did I think that would happen. I recognised him straight away because he has come back to Argyle again this season and he’s scored some goals in recent games. Last year I saw him play a couple of times and, of course, I’ve seen him in the media,” said an astonished and delighted Michael, who has taken his son and daughter to matches at Home Park in the past. “It was a complete surprise!”

Modest midfielder Finn has recently started volunteering for St Luke’s in his spare time. The 23-year-old stopped to chat with Michael and another patient on the ward during his recent visit to our HQ to help the fundraising team.

“Finn came over to talk to me and I told him my life story,” added Michael, 61, who was thrilled that he was able to meet the rising football star before being discharged home a couple of days later. “He came across as a very genuine and nice bloke and he asked me some very good questions. I wish him well for the rest of the season and hope Argyle do as well as they did last year when they went into the Championship.”

Liverpool-born Michael, who lives at Keyham, was in the Royal Navy for 34 years, retiring in 2012. He was working as a safety officer for cruise ships before his diagnosis with Stage 4 bowel cancer. He was seen and supported by St Luke’s hospital team at Derriford before being transferred to our inpatient unit for specialist symptom management. He and his family – wife, Angela, daughter Bethany and son Matthew, who has followed his dad into the Navy – will now have the support of our at home team.

“I’m looking forward to going home but I have thoroughly enjoyed the two weeks I’ve spent in St Luke’s as an inpatient. The people are fantastic, and I feel honoured to have been asked to come here,” said Michael, who was also thrilled to be allowed a couple of hospice visits from his chocolate Labrador Milo. “It’s an amazing place, and you never know who you’re going to meet!”