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"Deb’s death was inevitable, but it wasn’t traumatic. She felt comforted and safe and she wasn’t scared. She had a wonderful life and, thanks to St Clare Hospice, a peaceful end."

“Deb was not only mine and our other sibling Karen’s big sister, she was our best friend. As children I always hid behind her and I think I continued to do that all our lives. She had so much more confidence than me.

“Deb was such a vibrant person, full of fun and truly loved life. She had a big circle of friends and one of the things she loved to do was go up to London for the day, order the cheapest bottle of champagne at The Ritz and people-watch until it was time to go home, grabbing a McDonald’s on the way. 

“When she was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer, we were all devastated. She had spent eight anxious weeks in hospital when her son and his young family travelled from the Isles of Scilly where they live to spend time with her. But there was no family room and her grandchildren weren’t allowed onto the ward. So, I had to put Deb in a wheelchair and push her out into a cold, dark staircase so she could see them. After five minutes she had to go back to bed. It was just awful.”

“The hospital staff had been kind, but there were trying to save her and that just wasn’t possible. The next morning we got the phone call to say she could come to St Clare Hospice. It was the best news we could hope to hear. I came up to the Hospice early with her own duvet and pillows and decorated her room with flowers and cards. It was a beautiful morning and when the ambulance arrived with Deb and her son I was waiting at the gate and all the staff lined up to greet her.

“There was such relief that Deb was coming to a safe, loving and peaceful place. All the weeks of worry and anxiety she had experienced in hospital all melted away the day she came into the Hospice.

“The day before she died, about 30 of her friends and family came to see her and say their goodbyes. And then when the time eventually came, everybody who really mattered was their by her side.”

“Deb’s death was inevitable, but it wasn’t traumatic. She felt comforted and safe and she wasn’t scared. She had a wonderful life and, thanks to St Clare Hospice, a peaceful end. And that’s all any of us can hope for.

“I miss her terribly every day, but we are so grateful that St Clare was there when our family needed them.”

Susan, Deb’s sister

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