Kailey Smith - a daughter's story

“The service the hospice gave to my Dad, myself and my family was amazing. During such a difficult time, they were able to guide us and explain each step of the journey, while making sure Dad was as comfortable as possible,” said Kailey Smith, whose father Geoff Strowger received support from St Elizabeth Hospice before his death, aged 68-years-old on 6th October 2021.

Every year the hospice delivers free care to over 3,000 patients and their families throughout East Suffolk, Great Yarmouth and Waveney.

Centered on an individual’s needs, this specialist support is provided whenever and wherever it is needed, whether at home, in the community or at the hospice, with Kailey and her family experiencing first-hand the difference this support can make with the support the charity gave to Geoff.

“Dad had been receiving care from Ipswich Hospital after being diagnosed with prostate cancer, when unfortunately in February 2021, he began to go downhill,” Kailey, who lives in Leiston, explained.

“We were recommended the support of the hospice to help make Dad as comfortable as possible and the staff were brilliant from the very first moment we spoke with them.

“While Dad was still living at home, we could always ring the hospice team for help and guidance whenever it was needed. It was so reassuring to know they were there for us and Dad.

“As his condition deteriorated the hospice provided more support to Dad, before he moved into the hospice in September.

“From the team on reception, to the cleaners and nurses, we cannot fault them. They were all amazing and so accommodating to us all. Nothing was ever too much and all the nurses and doctors took the time to answer all our questions.

“Dad got on really well with all the nurses and they would have a laugh and joke with him, treating him like a person and not just as patient. They really are all unsung heroes.

“When it came to the day when Dad passed away, they let us spend time with him as a family. Giving us the space, time and privacy that we needed. We cannot thank them enough for what they did.

“Before Dad was supported by the hospice, I just assumed it was a place where people go to die. I didn’t realise it provided such a wide range of support to patients and their families, and that they give a real support network for all under their care.

“The warmth of the team makes the hospice feel like a home from home, even during the uncertainty of Covid-19 outbreak, they went above and beyond to make sure we felt welcome and supported.

“As a family, we were so grateful for their services that at Dad’s funeral, we had a collection which raised more than £855 for the hospice, as we were so keen to give back to the team in any way we could.

“I would recommend the hospice’s services to anyone who finds themselves or their loved one in a position where they need support, as the hospice staff can really make a difference. All the staff are very easy to trust and they made the rest of Dad’s life as best as it could be and we will always be grateful to them for this.”

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