Susan’s story

“St Clare really is such a special place. No one expects to come to a place like St Clare in their lifetime, but when you do need it, St Clare will always be there for you. I will do anything that I can to let people know that St Clare is such a wonderful place.”
The Barclay family on a ferry

“It was over 4 years ago now when I first found out about St Clare. My elder sister stayed at St Clare when she was poorly. Little did I know that a few years later I was going to need their services again.”

“My husband Stephen was diagnosed with an operable brain tumour in January 2015. Stephen coped with his illness pretty well up until October 2015 when he became quite poorly. We really needed help and luckily we were put into contact with the lovely people at St Clare.”

“When Steven became very ill he lost a lot of his mobility. I was really struggling to get him from one room to the other so he became confined to the bedroom. As soon as that happened St Clare came round and organised all the equipment we needed to help care for him at home, they made life so much easier.”

“The first visit I had from the St Clare Hospice at Home team is an experience that I will never forget. They were so wonderful to us, they were always there for Stephen, and they looked after him, talked to him, kept him clean and comfortable. Not only that, but they also took care of me.”

“The nurses and nursing assistants at St Clare were always there to support me. I had good days and I had bad days. If the Hospice at Home nursing assistants came round and could see that I was really upset, they would always give me a hug or sit down and have a chat with me to help reassure me. I have made some really special friendships with people from St Clare, they are such lovely people.”

Steve and Sue Barclay with the Inpatient Unit nurses“Our youngest daughter, Sophie, had plans to get married in 2016 and we were told by the hospital that we needed to bring the wedding forward. During this time Stephen had deteriorated quite quickly and it had got to the point where I was struggling to take care of him at home as well as cope with the stress of planning the wedding.”

“The staff at St Clare could see that I was struggling to cope, so we decided to bring Stephen into the Inpatient Unit.”

“I was still able to stay with Steve and sleep beside him every night and hold his hand. I wouldn’t have been able to get through all the bad times without the support from St Clare.”

“I even had support from the volunteers that bring round the hot drinks and our meals. Everyone become familiar and chatted to me and made me feel so welcome. “

“It isn’t just about the person that’s in the bed unwell, it is about all the support that St Clare gives the people for their visit here and their families.”

“Sophie had managed to reschedule her wedding to the 23rd November and St Clare had arranged for Stephen to have a special wheelchair and transport to help him get to the wedding. One of the Inpatient Unit nursing assistants, Zoe, had offered to come with us on her day off to help take care of Steve.”

“On the morning of the wedding one of the Hospice at Home staff even helped me get ready and blow dried my hair. The staff were incredible, they really helped make the day so special, the fact that Steve made it to the wedding was the best result any of us could have ever asked for. We couldn’t have done it without St Clare!”

Sophie and Steve Barclay on Sophie's wedding day

“I have such fond memories of staying at St Clare. One night I will never forget is New Year’s Eve. All of our family turned up at the hospice, we sat in Steve’s room and saw the New Year in together. We played cards and laughed and joked all night, just like we would have done at home. The chefs made us up a plate of party food, it was perfect. We all went to bed as normal that night and the next morning Steve passed away. I wouldn’t have had it any other way. It was an experience that I will never ever forget.”

“Although it’s still hard to lose someone that you love and are very close to, when it’s their time you want to make sure that it is peaceful and as lovely as possible – and that is what St Clare provides.”

“St Clare really is such a special place. No one expects to come to a place like St Clare in their lifetime, but when you do need it, St Clare will always been there for you.  I will do anything that I can to let people know that St Clare is a wonderful place.”

Sue Barclay with St Clare nurses“Once you’ve had contact with St Clare, it’s really hard to let go. I find it very soothing to come back and let people know how things are for me, because I know that we wouldn’t be where we are today if it wasn’t for St Clare hospice.”

“I love to come back to St Clare, even now, just driving into the driveway at St Clare the impression that you get is so peaceful and tranquil. It’s just got a relaxing ambiance – it’s got such a lovely feeling about it. As soon as you walk in the volunteers on reception are so friendly and helpful, and the care is just fantastic.”

– Susan

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