Barbara kindly shares her family’s experience of coming to St Mary’s …
After a hospital stay in August 2017, Barbara’s husband Gerry changed his mind from wanting to die at home. He decided to visit the hospice with Barbara, after which he was very clear about where he wanted to be.
Gerry came into St Mary’s In Patient Unit in December 2017, and Barbara and her family spent Christmas at the Hospice.
“By Christmas Gerry had the whole family with him, and we had a great Christmas day in the hospice. It was just made so wonderful by the hospice. You know, they came in serving the drinks. That was a surprise to everybody! They came in all dressed up and they had a lovely Christmas trolley all trimmed up. They brought him a present in the morning and sung carols at the foot of his bed, all the things that you just wouldn’t expect but that you possibly would do in your own home. Someone had bought him this special gin. Gerry liked a glass of gin, but having said that, he hadn’t had one in a long time. I think he just liked the idea of it. He pulled oﬀ the cylinder covering the bottle – now you see it, now you don’t kind of thing! He was laughing away. It was amazing really that he made us all laugh on that day and nobody came in and interrupted us while we were there. We were allowed to have that precious family time. In the hospice there was always that acute awareness of not just his needs but our needs as well. My Grandson who is 16 said, “that was the best Christmas ever Nanna.”
“Gerry was certainly at peace here. Here everything’s done for you, you are the most important thing. The whole person is considered, it’s about what is unique to that person. It’s almost like an extension of your home. A nice thing that struck me was that you couldn’t see any medical equipment as you would in a hospital and that is what made it feel more like your home.”
Barbara’s daughter Sarah-Jane added: “Thank you for all you do at St Mary’s. It is truly a gift of a place and we do hope many more families get to experience the precious moments of the gift of life we did even in the stark days of death.”
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