Lauren’s Story

“St Clare had given Dad the most beautiful and thoughtful gift to bring the magic of Christmas to him at the hospice; a Christmas stocking filled with lovely gifts just for him.”
Lauren and her Dad

“It was Christmas 2013 when our family first came into contact with St Clare Hospice. Although there is never a nice time for anyone to have to make those decisions about coming to a hospice, the fact that it was during the festive season seemed to make it all that bit harder.”

“Yet, when we arrived at St Clare, that huge anxiety we had was overcome with a feeling of being at home.”

“My father, Paul, started to become unwell and was admitted to hospital in August 2013. One month later after many tests, he was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer and given five months to live. Dad was just 44 years old.”

“We received care from our local hospital, who decided after a few weeks of chemotherapy it was time to move on to radiotherapy as the cancer had spread to Dad’s brain. It was such an emotional and stressful time for all of us as Dad’s condition began to deteriorate, and witnessing that was traumatic for everyone.”

“When Dad was given two weeks to live, it was decided that coming to St Clare would be his best option. I wasn’t sure what to expect the first time I visited Dad at the hospice. I went with my two younger brothers on Boxing Day, and I remember how we were all so anxious!”

“When we arrived, it was just like being at home – Dad was so smiley and happy, but most importantly he was settled and comfortable, without any pain.”

“We always saw Dad on Boxing Day – every Christmas. It was our family tradition. So we did the same when Dad was at St Clare. We came in to visit him and brought him gifts and goodies from home to open. When we arrived I was so touched to see that Dad had already received a stocking on Christmas Day from St Clare. It made the day so special that Santa had come and left Dad his own stocking the day before.”

“St Clare had given Dad the most beautiful and thoughtful gift to bring the magic of Christmas to him at the hospice; a Christmas stocking filled with lovely gifts just for him.”

“I kept Dad’s stocking, and every year I hang it up at home with ours. St Clare went the extra mile to make that special memory for us, and now my son knows that the stocking was for his Grandad, from St Clare.”

“Over the Christmas period, we had friends and family visit Dad at the hospice all the time – just like it was Dad’s house! It was never any trouble for the staff at St Clare, and we would always feel so welcome. It was beyond amazing in all aspects.”

“Coming to St Clare isn’t just about the amazing care a person receives – it’s so much more than that. Dad and his partner, Mandy, had one last wish that they wanted to see through together, and St Clare facilitated that.”

“Dad and Mandy got married on 9th January 2014 at St Clare Hospice on their Inpatient Unit. St Clare arranged a dress for Mandy, organised cakes, a photographer, and decorations – and let us have as many people as we could fit in the ceremony as possible!”

“We spent the whole day at the hospice to celebrate their wedding and it was just magical. It was truly emotional, but best of all, perfect.”

“The day after, Dad’s condition began to deteriorate further. Family gathered at the hospice all the way from Scotland so we could all be there with him. At one point, there must have been about twenty of us there! We all took up every possible sleeping spot we could find. Not once did the staff nurses bat an eyelid!”

“With all of his family around him, Dad passed away on 13th January 2014.”

“St Clare were really there for all of us. They didn’t just help Dad to feel comfortable and out of pain; they also made it softer for us, and helped us to understand what would happen.”

“They sat through the night with us to make sure we were very clear on what we could expect, which was such a relief. I sat with one nurse for almost an hour discussing if I wanted to be with Dad at the end. I was scared, but she helped me to make my decision and put my mind at ease. Now, I am forever grateful that I was with Dad when he died.”

“The sense of dignity and respect for Dad that we observed from all of the nurses was just truly impeccable. We couldn’t thank them enough for everything they did for him, and for everything they did for the whole family throughout our journey.”

– Lauren

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