My name is Ruby and I’ve lived in Croydon all my life. My husband, two sons and I moved into our family home 45 years ago and I’m still there today. I first came into contact with St Christopher’s Hospice when my husband was diagnosed with motor neurone disease and they looked after him, here in our family home, until he passed away. It was really good to have him at home for those final weeks. Since then I’ve become poorly myself and now St Christopher’s comes and visits me.
I get regular visits from Debbie or Caitriona – it’s always first names with St Christopher’s, never Dr this or Nurse that – and they’re so human and warm. I really look forward to their visits and it’s certainly been easier to live here on my own knowing that they’re coming. They also phone up, make sure the local GP is kept up to date and pick up any medicines I need. It’s much more than a visiting nurse. They treat me like a daughter. I feel safe. I feel that I’m not on my own.
Being supported by St Christopher’s I also feel I’m part of a community. I always get invites to go to St Christopher’s to see concerts, raffles, services, and there’s an open invitation to visit the Anniversary Centre anytime where I can have a cup of tea and a chat with people to hear their stories. It’s very easy and natural, and feels homely.
Being able to spend Christmas in your own home is an absolute joy! I remember all those Christmases’ past when I was so excited as a mother that I got up extra early and forced the boys out of their bedrooms. I was so impatient to see their faces as they opened up the presents. All those memories, and more, are in these bricks and mortar and I want to stay here and enjoy the Christmas period. It’s the best time of year and although I’ll have family visit, I know that I will be supported by St Christopher’s throughout the season. I’m living life as much as I can with St Christopher’s and that’s priceless.
Thank you to you for supporting St Christopher’s and helping people like me to stay at home this Christmas – it really does mean a lot.
Merry Christmas and best wishes,