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This year, we face a Christmas like no other. Will you help those who need it most by supporting the St Barnabas House Christmas Appeal?
In the past few weeks, we’ve seen a surge in the number of patients with cancer and other pre-existing conditions who have missed diagnosis and treatment due to COVID-19.
For some, this could be their last Christmas, and we want to make it the loveliest we can for them and their families. I’m really hoping you’ll help us.
Last year, my mum and dad died within a couple of months of each other, and both received expert, loving care at St Barnabas House.
Dad just loved being at the hospice. The medical care and knowledge he received were extraordinary, and the team soon found ways to help him feel better. The nurses were fantastic and made a huge fuss of dad. He became really close to them (and they to him also, I think).
It was coming up to dad’s 90th birthday and we celebrated at the hospice. All the nurses piled into his room and we sang ‘Happy Birthday’ together. Dad had such a big smile on his face, and next day he came home to us, just as he’d wished.
Dad lived for 10 more weeks and the St Barnabas Hospice at Home team came out to him every day. When Dad died, the nurses were there and I sat next to him, holding his hand. It was a dignified, peaceful, even beautiful death.
A few days later – as we were planning Dad’s funeral in fact – mum had a fall at home. We thought it was just one of those things, as she’d always been well. However, Mum’s GP was worried and insisted she have some tests.
Mum had advanced liver and lung cancer, and she only had weeks to live. It was a huge shock for all of us and, once again, St Barnabas came to the rescue.
The hospice team bent over backwards to find mum a bed. In fact, they asked if she would like to have Room 17 – Dad’s old room.
Mum lived for only five weeks following her diagnosis, and she was cared for by the same wonderful nurses who’d come to know dad so well. They gave Mum all the dedication and compassion they’d shown him, which was hugely comforting.
St Barnabas has been there for us for so many years.
Now, with their funding badly affected by the pandemic, the charity needs our help to get through these challenging times. So they can continue providing the kind of care they gave my mum and dad to patients and families over Christmas, and for the future.
Love and Christmas best wishes from my family to yours,