Sarah Marshall’s very moving story about why she supports Wirral Hospice #lightupalife

ron_marshallIt was Thursday 2 January 2014, when our family’s lives changed forever. My dad, Ron, a fit and healthy 69 year old retired motor mechanic was rushed to Arrowe Park Hospital with a suspected stroke. Our world stopped.

Following tests we were given the heart-breaking news that my dad had a brain tumour. We couldn’t comprehend the information and were left numb. Days later we were told that my dad was being transferred to the Walton Centre to undergo a biopsy of the brain tumour. We remained hopeful, but feared the worst. The news we got could not have been any worse; it was confirmed as a grade 4 brain tumour, inoperable and untreatable. We couldn’t understand how this could have happened to my lovely dad, a good kind and gentle man, who helped everyone, loved his family and had so much to live for.

My dad was told he could come home, where my mum and I cared for him, something that he really didn’t like, as he was very independent and an extremely strong man. It was at this time that our district nurse, Andrew, introduced us to Wirral Hospice St John’s.

From the moment we arrived at the Hospice, the staff and volunteers were just amazing. We felt like we were among friends, safe, secure and protected. My dad was given the medication he needed for his discomfort and my mum and I were supported practically and emotionally. We soon learnt that the Hospice cares about each patient and their families as individuals. Kind, understanding words, hugs, endless hot drinks, smiles and someone to listen are all part of everyday life.

My dad was comfortable, surrounded by his family and friends, and cared for in the best way possible.  It was dad’s request he was where he wanted to be. Thanks to the support of the lovely nursing staff I had the courage and the opportunity to say the things I needed to say to my dad.

On Friday 14 March at 1.30am my wonderful dad sadly died with me and my mum, his wife of 45 years, holding him. My dad’s death was the saddest day of my life but I’m happy to be able to say he died peacefully, pain free and most of all with dignity.

When we left Wirral Hospice on that cold, foggy morning, we felt scared to leave the sanctuary of the place that had become our home for the past two weeks and scared to leave the protection and kindness that we had come to rely upon.

The Hospice continues to support my family. I attend regular counselling there, which helps me to deal with the many milestones that present themselves and my mum is helping out with fundraising events and projects.

??????????We decided that we would hold a coffee morning in my dad’s memory in September. The generosity of everyone towards the Hospice and the memory of my dad blew us away. We are thrilled to have raised £2,400 for the Hospice and we get great comfort in the fact, that this will help future families in Wirral going through a similar experience that we have been through.

 

I will also be taking part in Wirral Hospice’s Light Up A Life this year, making a donation in memory of my lovely dad to help care and support future patients at the Hospice. To me they are not just lights, they are all stars; stars that shine across Wirral in memory of the people we love.

Sarah Marshall, Wirral Hospice supporter

Advertisements

Texting ‘WHSJ88’ £5 to 70070 can make a huge difference to our patients and their loved ones #familiesmatter #hospicecare

teresa_nightingale_photo“Looking after our patients and their families is central to everything we do at Wirral Hospice St John’s. It’s the reason we are here and the reason we have grown and evolved our care so much over the last 30 years. Support from the Wirral community has helped us to do that. YOU have helped us to do that. Thank you!”

Teresa Nightingale, the Hospice’s Head of Fundraising knows it’s not as simple as just asking people for money. “Everyone has personal pressures on what they can spend their money on: mortgage or rent, bills, food, clothing, family trips, school trips, presents. We understand that, which is why we offer people options on how they might wish to support us.

Anything from taking part in a running event, where they are asking lots of people to sponsor smaller amounts towards a bigger pot, or organising their own event such as a coffee morning or afternoon tea, where again other people can contribute smaller amounts to raise a larger amount of money.

Even texting ‘WHSJ88’ £5 to 70070 can make a huge difference to our patients and their loved ones. Or you can donate online via our JustGiving Appeal page.

We are also asking local companies to get involved, they can pick us as a Charity of the Year or organise a one-off employee event to support us. People can join our weekly lottery or buy something from one of our charity shops or gift shop. Or have a collection box in their home to catch loose change – and this is only a few suggestions of how people can help!

We also appreciate that other charities ask and need support, so we are one of several deserving organisations that people may be approached by.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Ways of supporting our Hospice’s work #charity # fundraising #volunteering #kindness

wirral_hospice_john_bear_craneJanuary and February are notoriously tight months; usually spending as little as possible to try and recover from the hit of Christmas presents and all the social events during the festive months (that have been known to start before September is even over. For some people at least!). Lots of big hearty home-cooked meals, rather than takeaways, and cutting back on non-essential spending, like expensive frothy coffees and shop-bought lunches.

Many of us use these early months as a great opportunity to kick-start or get back into fitness programmes. Aiming for a more honed, toned and healthy body by the time the sun makes a fleeting appearance later in the year. Well that’s the plan we initially dream of, some of us fall victim to temptation along the way.

Usually people feel a bit more relaxed financially by the end of March so it’s a good time to assess finances and the time we can offer to those around us. Running a family home can be expensive and can often take all of our time, we are all too aware of that, so not everyone can easily afford to spare money at the end of each month or volunteer for good causes.

Read the rest of this entry »

%d bloggers like this: