After their mum received care from the Hospice, Chloe and her sisters chose to continue fundraising for us. They know attend many of our events and Chloe explains why.
Chloe said “Mum was always keen to be outside, it didn’t matter what the weather was like, she had to be outdoors. As a family we would spend lots of time together in many different places including the beach and country parks and we would usually find ourselves sheltered under a tree hiding from the rain! She absolutely loved her garden and spent hours out there filling it with beautiful flowers and plants. We had planned a weekend trip to London & Kew Gardens for her 60th which we know she would have loved. We went in her memory and although it wasn’t quite the same without her gardeners knowledge but we made the best of it.
Mum was 59 when her melanoma returned, which had advanced in the 5 years since she had a mole removed. In the summer of 2017, we noticed mum seemed more tired and not as energetic as normal. She then started to have seizures which lead to scans at the hospital where we found out the skin cancer had spread to her brain, where they found large brain tumours. We then made it our mission to make the time we had left (six weeks) together, a time we would all remember. We had grandchildren’s christenings, birthdays, and family days at the beach. We even manage to squeeze in my sister Katie’s wedding, planned in just four weeks.
Sadly the morning after the wedding mums illness had really developed and we had to rush her to the Hospice. We were all shocked at how welcoming and understanding everyone was as soon as we arrived there. Mum was unconscious for her time at the hospice (three nights) but the care she received was beyond anything we could have expected. My two sisters and I stayed with her for all three nights. We like to think mum stayed with us for three nights, so we all got a go on the comfy chair, she always made sure everything was fair for the three of us! The team at the Hospice went above and beyond to make us feel at home during this time and we had many family members to come and visit mum to say goodbye and each and every one of them were treated with respect and consideration. We could tell mum was not in any pain from the moment the Nurses got her rested in her bed and their continued communication helped us to ensure that she was consistently comfortable.
I received six weeks of bereavement counselling at the Hospice which I found extremely helpful at such a hard time. I thought returning to the Hospice for these sessions would be hard but everybody including the Reception team were always so kind, supporting and helpful. They took this fear away, as I now feel comfortable and almost close to mum whenever I visit the Hospice. Don’t be shy in asking for help, as all the staff there are always more than willing to ensure that every second of your time in the Hospice is as peaceful as it can be. I would say ask about the different activities that they offer. Our mum was not able to take part in any as she wasn’t well enough be there were many different things that she could have accessed if possible. Our mum had said that she wanted to be at home during her last days, so we were worried about her being there at first. After the first day we all knew that the care mum was receiving could not be as good if she were to be at home. So, I would say don’t hold any guilt if you find yourself in the same situation, everything that you could have done at home can be done in the hospice and you will also receive outstanding care alongside that not only for your loved one but for yourself as well.
After receiving such specialist care from everyone at the Hospice we wanted to do whatever we could to help raise money for such an amazing facility. So, we try and attend most events they hold but for the past six years challenge ourselves to see if we can raise more money than we did the previous year at the Moonlight and Memories Walk. Two of us are now part of the 250 Club and this year we hope to make it all three of us.”