“Every time I think of St Luke’s I have nothing but positive, uplifting memories and I light up with a smile.”
My mother was very lucky to experience her last few days in the care of the special place that is St Luke’s Hospice. I cannot describe the gratitude I have for this charity. The loving care and consideration they provided, not only for my mother but also my family, was profound and is the definition of altruism. It meant my mother was able to live her last few days pain-free, peacefully and with dignity. I cannot emphasise how different our memories would be if it was not for the benevolence St Luke’s Hospice afforded my family.
Mum had been diagnosed with breast cancer but bravely battled for 2 years through chemotherapy, a mastectomy and radiotherapy. Her inner strength shone through. Doctors confirmed that her treatment was successful and that she could continue to enjoy her life. However, 3 months later she suddenly became unwell. After several tests, the hospital confirmed the cancer had returned and aggressively spread through her body. Our life was turned upside down when we were told she only had days to live.
A palliative nurse introduced us to St Luke’s Hospice and from that moment, it seems as if we were given a divine gift. A spacious room became available with peaceful views of the garden but she was adamant she did not want to leave home. However, two of St Luke’s home visiting nurses came to the house to introduce themselves. From that moment, their warmth and even humour made it an easy decision for my mum. So much so that her brief time there made it feel like home and it would have been difficult to make her leave.
This year has been a special year for me personally as I have connected with dozens of people who are involved with St Luke’s. I participated in their annual 51 mile fundraising walk this summer, where I met all the walkers, staff and other family volunteers. They even hosted a BBQ reunion as a thank you to all the fundraisers. It was a pleasure to have been involved but an even greater privilege to get to know so many of the staff and volunteers and to see first-hand how crucial these fundraising events are for St Luke’s survival. I have made some great friends and I look forward to supporting this wonderful charity over the coming years.
Grief from bereavement has undoubtedly been the hardest thing I have faced in my life. Taking mum to the Hospice, with the knowledge she would never come home, should have left a scarring memory. But the truth is, every time I think of St Luke’s I have nothing but positive, uplifting memories and I light up with a smile. They made my mum feel inner peace, leaving us too with a smile. It also means with the recent opening of their memorial garden, many families like myself can sit, reflect and feel close to their lost loved ones – peacefully celebrating their lives.
My mother’s warmth, energy and smile would light up any room. Her mantra was: to think of others, show goodwill and always have fun with a smile. I invite you to help St Luke’s Hospice continue to carry this torch that touches every mind, heart and soul by supporting them with all the selfless work they do. They are a special charity that offers a timely reminder of the gift we all possess: humanity.