Patient stories

Daphne’s story

When Daphne was diagnosed with hypersensitivity pneumonitis – an immune condition that affects the lungs – it had a big impact on her quality of life. Recently widowed and reliant on oxygen to help her breathe, she rarely left the house. When Daphne visited the hospice, she found a new community of friends and a place where she could enjoy life again. Cared for by St Barnabas for over three years, Daphne generously left a gift in her Will so that other people could experience the same care she did.

Bridget, her daughter, tells their story

Daphne holding a heart saying: I love my hospice because everybody is so friendly and caring and its the highlight of my week.

“It was a huge breakthrough in her social life”

When mum’s consultant recommended St Barnabas as a place where she could meet other people in similar situations, she was adamant that she didn’t want to go. Mum was a very shy person – she didn’t find it easy to socialise and make new friends. And, like a lot of people, she thought going to a hospice meant ‘the end’.

I persuaded her to try out a few of the support groups and activities, and when I saw her afterwards, she was the happiest I’d seen her in years. Her eyes lit up as she talked about the people she’d met and the things she’d done. After that, there was no stopping her.

Daphne celebrating

She loved spending time in the art room with her new friends and would often come home having had a massage and a manicure! It was a huge relief for me knowing that she was having fun and enjoying life again.

“The hospice gave her more life than she thought possible”

Until you need a hospice, you have no idea that the care also extends way beyond the hospice building. The regular phone calls, links with her GP and home visits were all so reassuring. Mum also looked forward to a weekly visit from her Community Companion volunteer. They’d chat for hours over tea and cake and put the world to rights.

Volunteer and patient at home

The whole experience was the opposite to the one mum imagined. Over the three and half years she was cared for, St Barnabas gave her more life than she thought possible. And when she died at the hospice in October 2021, they took all her pain away and she was completely at peace.

Daphne and her daughter

Mum couldn’t believe that the hospice care she received was all free of charge. By leaving a gift in her Will, it was a way for her to give something back because she felt she’d had so much.

A gift in her Will was mum’s way of giving something back. I will also be leaving a gift to the hospice in my Will. None of us know when we might need hospice care, but when you experience it, you want to help. Thanks to St Barnabas I can look back on the last few years of mum’s life and think about the happy memories. A gift in my Will means someone else can have the same experience my family did. And for the hospice to transform their lives, like it did ours.

Can you help?

It's costs over £9 million a year to run St Barnabas House and the majority of our funds come directly from people like you who generously donate to us.

Image of a smiling nurses outside the hospice