Hannah Jackson – a daughter’s story

“Everybody at the hospice was amazing and offered Dad and our whole family incredible support during a very uncertain time,” said Hannah Jackson, whose dad, Paul Dodwell, received support from St Elizabeth Hospice until his death, aged 66-years-old, on 13th February 2023.

Last year St Elizabeth Hospice delivered free care to over 4,000 patients and their families throughout East Suffolk, Great Yarmouth and Waveney.

Centered on an individual’s needs, the hospice provides specialist support, whenever and wherever it is needed, whether at home, in the community or at the hospice.

Paul came under the care of St Elizabeth Hospice on 26 December 2022, after being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour earlier that month.

Hannah explained: “I knew of the important work of St Elizabeth Hospice and supported fundraising through my employer, Homestyle UK Windows, who actively support the hospice.”

“We knew Dad needed more support to make him as comfortable as possible and I immediately thought of the hospice’s 24/7 advice line, OneCall, who I contacted to see how they could help Dad and completed a referral form online to begin the process of Dad receiving the hospice’s care.

“Unfortunately he had a seizure of 29th December and was taken to Ipswich Hospital before the hospice team helped him get a bed at the hospice, which was his wish.”

Janet, Hannah’s Mum and Paul’s wife (pictured right), added: “When Paul arrived at the hospice’s inpatient unit we were all introduced to the doctors and nurses who would be caring for him and instantly you felt at ease and reassured in the knowledge Paul was in the best place.

“Their communication really was brilliant, as they clearly explained how they planned to help Paul and it was such a relief we could still be together as a family and visit him as much as we wanted to.

“No matter how busy they were, all the staff, from the doctors and nurses through to the receptionists and cleaners, they all make time to chat with you, answer any questions you may have or just have a nice conversation with a smile and a laugh. The staff all just have a very special way about them.”

Hannah said: “The support everyone at the hospice gave to us as a family was truly amazing and nothing was too much. He was very popular with all staff. They loved his sense of humour and banter and staff would pop in and say ‘hi’ even if they weren’t working on his ward.

“It was just such a nice environment to be in and Dad enjoyed me being able to visit him after work to watch the football with him, while Mum could be by his side throughout the day. Without the hospice team we would never have been able to spend so much quality time with Dad.”

After becoming more stable and comfortable, in January Paul was able to return home for a few days and even managed to see a group of friends. All while the family knew they had the support of the hospice at the end of the phone if they were ever required.

“It meant so much to us all that Paul was able to come home,” said Janet. “After a few days at home, he began to deteriorate and said he wanted to go back to the hospice “to be with his hospice girls” and the team made sure this was no problem at all.

Hannah explained: “Dad passed away peacefully at the hospice on 13th February and as a family we are grateful for everything they did for him and us.

“St Elizabeth Hospice is just a fantastic organisation which touches the lives of so many people and offers great reassurance when it matters most.

“I really don’t think enough people know how much money and support is needed to ensure the charity is able to deliver its vital services, but I know every penny raised really makes a difference and myself and my whole family are hospice supporters for life.”

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