Mary and Tim’s Hospice Story

“St Elizabeth Hospice is marvellous. It is a superb place to come and a real sanctuary,” Mary Chennells, aged 95-years-old, who received symptom support on the hospice’s Inpatient Unit, between February and March 2024.

Annually, St Elizabeth Hospice cares for more than 4,000 patients and their families throughout East Suffolk, Great Yarmouth and Waveney. This care sees the independent Suffolk charity providing free services – whenever and wherever it is needed, whether at home, in the community or at the hospice – to those living with a progressive or life-limiting illness.

“You give up all responsibility and are wrapped up in the support of the hospice team’s amazing care. It is just phenomenal,” explained Mary, who enjoyed many walks around the hospice garden with her son, Tim, during her time at the hospice, where she loved seeing the birds and fishes which have their home in the garden and pond.

“My GP suggested we should contact the hospice team, as I was having difficulties with general living in my flat.

“Shortly after speaking with St Elizabeth Hospice, I had a visit from their team and an assessment regarding how they could help and I never looked back. I was keen for someone to help and take control of my situation, and they certainly did that, for which I am very grateful.”

Tim Deroy-Chennells, Mary’s son, added: “Mum was struggling with every day things and her mobility. She is still very independent and loves her TV programmes and crossword puzzles, but her quality of life was decreasing.

“As a family, we regularly visited and gave her lots of help, but we were a little concerned that we needed more support. This is where the amazing hospice team came in and took the pressure off us, helping to stabilise Mum’s situation with symptom support.”

Mary said: “I first came to St Elizabeth Hospice in early February and, despite what people may think, I didn’t find it daunting at all. All the St Elizabeth Hospice staff, from the volunteers, cleaners through to the nurses and doctors, they are all so unbelievably kind.

“As well as providing me with medical care and helping me to feel more comfortable, the human touches they give make the world of difference. Having the nurses comb my hair, wash my hair or putting some lipstick on me, really gives an uplift to your day.”

Tim said: “St Elizabeth Hospice is a fantastic environment, where every little detail is taken into account. Mum’s quality of life has improved amazingly since she first came under the hospice’s care.

“When you reach the age Mum has reached, ill health is normal, but their care really has improved things for Mum and I am so thankful. The hospice staff have also helped me with finding Mum a nursing home to go to, one they recommend and that is suited to Mum’s needs.

“We are sad to leave the hospice in many ways and will miss seeing the familiar faces we have both made friends with, but all we can say is ‘thank you so much’.

“We really cannot fault St Elizabeth Hospice for what they have done, they are just excellent and we would recommend their compassionate care to anyone.”

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