Published
5 September 2018

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Helma’s Story

Helma’s husband, Martin, received support from St Christopher’s before his death in March 2017

Helma’s husband, Martin, suffered from a degenerative neurological condition and received support from St Christopher’s before his death in March 2017.

Helma said, “I could write an essay about the amazing care Martin received but, if I had to sum it up, I would say that, in Martin’s final days, St Christopher’s gave us back the old Martin. We could stop being his carers and just enjoy spending family time with him. Now we are being helped to discover how to live our lives without him.

After two years of caring for Martin, which was hard for him and for me at times, and a very upsetting time in hospital, where they treated Martin as a condition rather than a human being, we arrived at St Christopher’s. From the first moment there, we became Martin’s family again rather than his carers.

Martin was his old self and his lovely sense of humour returned. We hadn’t experienced the old Martin for two years and it was lovely to have him back, albeit for a matter of days.

Bereavement counselling has helped me feel better equipped to deal with my new life

I now come every Tuesday for bereavement counselling, which is extremely helpful and my counsellor, Ellie, is an amazing woman. I do most of the talking but every now and then she asks me a question which makes me look at things from a different angle. Now I feel better equipped to deal with my new life and it has improved my relationship with my family and friends.

I feel extremely grateful for the tremendous support St Christopher’s has given our family and continues to do so, and for the difference it has made to our lives in difficult times. I wish I could thank members of the St Christopher’s team individually, but there are just too many people.”

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