Published
5 September 2018

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Emily’s Story

Emily’s father, Richard, died at St Christopher’s in April 2018

Richard was just 52 and had been diagnosed with a brain tumour in November 2016. The 23 year old took the time to tell us about her experiences of St Christopher’s.

“St Christopher’s supported my Dad and our family from the moment we understood that, sadly, his condition was terminal. Dad used to go to the hospice every Thursday, where he made friends and tried activities such as art, music and drama. These were things that, prior to becoming ill, he would never have tried, but that really brought him a quality of life, and a sense of fun, whilst he could enjoy them.

Dad lost his mobility following surgery to remove his brain tumour, and St Christopher’s offered physiotherapy and helped him to exercise and regain some strength.

This was incredibly important to him, as he was a County Golfer and Marathon runner and I know he looked forward to his sessions with the physio team.

St Christopher’s also cared for Dad in the final week of his life as an inpatient. The way the hospice handle everything at this difficult time is excellent. We were able to stay on a pop-up bed next to Dad and visit at any time, day or night, which was really important to us.

My Dad said: ‘St Christopher’s is somewhere you go to live, not to die’

When my Dad spoke about the hospice he said: ‘St Christopher’s is somewhere you go to live, not to die’. I couldn’t agree more. I remember the first time I heard Dad was being referred I felt really scared, but the things he was offered gave him an opportunity to live the rest of his life to the full.

The Bluebell Walk was a fantastic and humbling experience. Dad sadly passed away on Saturday 14 April, and had been the ‘poster boy’ encouraging people to sign up. It felt right that we were there to remember him. The number of people that joined us, making ‘Richard’s Ramblers’ the largest group to ever take part, was a real credit to Dad and the impact he had on so many.

Thank you, St Christopher’s, for giving my wonderful Dad something to smile about, and for caring for himso wonderfully when he needed you.”

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