Learning that someone you love is going to die is devastating in normal times but it has been even more frightening and stressful for families during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Saint Francis Hospice has been here to care and support patients and families at the Hospice and in the community, throughout the pandemic.
As it launches its Spring Appeal this week, it is calling on the local community to donate £25.25 so it can continue to provide its experienced care to those who need it most.
“At the beginning, the question in all of our minds was, how can we continue to care for everyone who needs us when we are all being told to stay at home?” said Tes Smith, the Hospice’s Director of Care and Quality.
“To everyone in our care, the answer we gave was, and still is, we do everything in our power to look after you just as lovingly, carefully and skilfully as we always do.
“The first thing is to make sure that every patient and all those who are important to them, have all the nursing, medical and therapeutic care they need. No one is alone. Patients and loved ones are surrounded by a circle of care.”
By making a donation of £25.25 you are helping people like:
Henriette who is living with Multiple System Atrophy and is cared for by our community nurses and our counselling team.
“Saint Francis Hospice is a very special place for me,” said Henriette. “It is where I receive so much love.
“When the hospital diagnosed me with MSA in 2016, my first consultant said, “There is no cure, go and sit down and wait.” I was thinking, Wait for what? Death?
“I remember going to my bedroom and crying, thinking to myself, I will die very young. What about my children? I regularly chat with Sue, a counsellor at the Hospice, on the phone. She gives me so much joy. She gives me ways to love myself again.
“The community nurses are also there to care for me. Everyone I meet really listens to me and makes me feel like a human being. I know that my thoughts and feelings matter.”
Kenneth from Pilgrims Hatch who didn’t even know the Hospice could help him.
Kenneth was living with chronic back pain after radiotherapy to treat his prostate cancer damaged his spine.
Kenneth was unable to cope with the chronic back pain he was suffering and much to his surprise, a stay on the Hospice ward made a huge difference.
“I was at a low ebb and I couldn’t see daylight because I was in permanent pain.
“I received a call from the Hospice asking if I’d like to come in to see if they could do anything to relieve my pain.
“To be honest, I wasn’t very hopeful but after 7-10 days, I felt such a difference.
“There must be a lot of people in my position who would not dream of approaching the Hospice for help.
“And what’s even more amazing is that the Hospice came to me. I’m absolutely over the moon and will be forever grateful for my time in the hospice.”
Tina’s mum who was cared for in her home before she died.
“When the Hospice at Home nurses arrived to care for mum, it was like an angel had descended – they were so calm,” said Tina.
“Their presence made us feel secure, reassured that we were doing the right thing and looking after her properly.
“My mum had a peaceful death – she just went to sleep. And now when I go into my mum’s room, I feel I get a hug.”
Pleased donate £25.25 by visiting https://www.sfh.org.uk/spring-appeal – Your donation puts every local person who needs us, in the centre of a huddle of total hospice care – a circle of love.
Saint Francis Hospice is a registered charity that employs 150 nurses, doctors and specialist healthcare staff who are supported by 800 volunteers. Together they provide care and help to more than 4,000 people across the boroughs of Havering, Barking & Dagenham, Redbridge and Brentwood. Saint Francis Hospice provides all of its services free of charge to support patients from our local community with any life-limiting illness including cancer, heart, lung or motor neurone disease.
For more information, please contact 01708 753319 or visit www.sfh.org.uk