For a terminally ill patient, Christmas at home may seem like an impossibility, but St Elizabeth Hospice’s appeal ‘Home for Christmas’ highlights the importance of helping people spend what may be their last Christmas at home with their families if this is their wish.
One hospice supporter, Gill Knight knows exactly how this feels, after her late husband Kevin was able to spend his final Christmas at home with the family last year, with support from the hospice. Gill has pledged her support to the campaign and shared her personal story to help more people in a similar situation.
Gill said “When someone you love is terminally ill at Christmas, all of your usual traditions and plans go out of the window. I knew that last Christmas would be the final one Kev and I would spend together. We wanted nothing more than to be able to have a special Christmas day at home with the family. But time was running out and Kev was admitted to the hospice inpatient unit a week before Christmas’.
‘We were both devastated that we couldn’t be at home. But the amazing hospice team swung into action and pulled out all the stops to ensure Kev could spend his last Christmas at home. They supported us every step of the way and took care of everything. From the community nurses who visited twice a day, to the reassurance of the 24 hour advice line OneCall – we spent Christmas day as a family, they are memories I will never forget.”
This Christmas the hospice wants to ensure that all of its patients who are facing their last Christmas can be at home if this is their wish.
Sharon Cave a sister on the in-patient ward said ’Helping a patient die at home is always a priority if this is their wish, but at Christmas helping them spend this extra special time at home brings with it a greater urgency. Every day, every hour and every minute counts. We know the best gift we can give a dying patient this Christmas is to be at home with their family. Behind the scenes Doctors, nurses, therapists and administrators will all work together to make a patient’s Christmas wish happen where we possibly can.’
The hospice is calling for donations from the Suffolk community to help them ensure terminally ill patients are able to spend Christmas at home. To donate visit www.stelizabethhospice.org.uk/homeforchristmas