11 August 2023

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Save The Last Dance

Eddie Robinson dancing

Eddie’s long-held desire to surprise his wife Rita with a last dance

Eddie Robinson dancing

Eddie Robinson, former St Christopher’s Hospice patient and beloved husband, father and grandfather, was the star of ITV London News on Friday 11 August.

Since being told he has six months to live, the father-of-three has surprised and delighted his family. Eddie, a former Royal Fusiliers soldier who served in the 1958 Korean War, was receiving end of life care at the hospice when Deputy Ward Manager Leonor Patcheo hatched a plan to help realise Eddie’s long-held desire to surprise his wife Rita with a last dance.

Eddie Robinson Granddauthers
Granddaughters sharing astonishment at Eddie’s “10 000 likes on Facebook!”

Tracie Fuller, now a registered nurse, was on her final placement at St Christopher’s when she used a mobility aid to help steer Eddie through his special moment.

A few short weeks after dancing to a moving rendition of Autumn Leaves, played by St Christopher’s Samuel Walder, ITV London came to St Mary’s Nursing Home in Streatham where Eddie now lives. They were regaled with tales of his desire to go “universal.” Lenora having previously explained to Eddie that he meant viral!

Despite the obvious challenges, Eddie was determined to go ahead: “If this helps just one person, I’ve done something,” he declared in typically stoic fashion. Afterwards, a tired but triumphant Eddie turned to the reporter with his trademark twinkle: “ohh, go on, give us a kiss!” A visibly moved Sally happily obliged, including Rita in the emotional moment.

Eddie Robinson Interview day

While rest is the priority, Rita marvelled as her lifelong love held court: “these are memories we’ll cherish forever.”

Amanda Mayo, Care Director at St Christopher’s, said: “This is a beautiful example of our staff and volunteers going above and beyond. I’m so proud of what our teams do every day to create moments that matter for patients, their friends and families.

“Supporting families like Eddie’s is only possible, thanks to the generous support of our community, whose fundraising efforts help people to go on making memories at the end of life.”

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