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A group of 14 family and friends from the Worthing area have decided to come together and walk in this year’s Night to Remember midnight walk in memory of Elaine Gallichan who was cared for by the St Barnabas House Hospice at Home team.
Elaine, a Worthing resident, was a loving wife, mother and friend and had a passion for all things Disney.
Elaine’s goddaughter, Emma Allen, 33, will be part of the group walking 13.1 miles on Saturday 29 June to raise vital funds for the hospice. Emma said: “Our team, Minnie’s Adventurers, will be walking to show our support for a wonderful and much-needed charity. Elaine loved anything Disney, from cuddly toys to Disney jumpers. Because of this, we will be dressing up as Disney characters, wearing Minnie and Mickey ears, colourful tutus and light up bands.
Back in the summer months of 2018, Elaine, 57, was happily enjoying life. It was late August when her family noticed that she was starting to repeat some of the things she was saying which her husband, Malcolm Gallichan, says “wasn’t normal as she had a terrific memory”.
Elaine’s driving also started to suffer and when eye tests proved inconclusive, Elaine was referred to hospital for further investigation. Sadly, scans confirmed that Elaine had a brain tumour which was already quite large. Elaine’s condition quickly deteriorated and after three weeks in hospital in November 2018, medical staff took the decision that Elaine would benefit from hospice care in the comfort of her own home.
Malcolm, 57, said: “That’s when the St Barnabas House Hospice at Home team stepped in. They quickly put a care package together for Elaine and immediately started attending to her as soon as she arrived back home. The care team were fantastic as they visited regularly throughout the day without fail, took care of her medication and ensured she was comfortable and pain free. The care she received was exceptional as it was not just medical but gave Elaine a sense of value as they pampered her as well. Elaine loved seeing the team and would often chat when they visited about everyday things and the staff would reciprocate without ever making her feel that she was anything other than normal.”
As Elaine’s condition deteriorated further, she became unable to speak or see very well and the family also benefitted from the Hospice at Home night sitting service which Malcolm says “was a huge support, not only for Elaine but to us as a family as it was hard enough watching Elaine deteriorating, but they always ensured we were never on our own.”
Elaine passed away peacefully at home on 4 January 2019.
Malcolm, said: “Even after Elaine passed away St Barnabas were still very supportive and ensured that the family were cared for and given support.
“Considering the hospice is largely funded by donations, the level of service was phenomenal. Like a lot of people I was aware of St Barnabas but really did not appreciate or have any idea of the dedication and commitment of the staff. I will always owe them a huge debt of gratitude for all they have done and are continuing to do for others every day.”
Since 2015, Night to Remember has raised vital funds for the Hospice at Home night sitting service provided by St Barnabas House.
Minnie’s Adventurers have already raised £1,000 and are aiming for a fundraising total of £1,500 which could pay for 8 whole nights of care for a patient like Elaine in their own home.
If you have been inspired by Elaine’s story, you can register to walk in Night to Remember on Saturday 29 June 2019 by visiting www.stbh.org.uk/nighttoremember or by calling the St Barnabas House Events Team on 01903 706354.
To donate to Minnie’s Adventurers visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/minniesadventurers