Everyone has their own special Christmas. You have yours. I have mine. My patients have theirs.
And each one will be slightly different.
What unites us all is the desire to be with those we love. To be surrounded by happy faces and kindness. To set aside our worries for a few days and make a Christmas to treasure.
Last Christmas, one of our patients – let’s call her Susan – told me her Christmas wish was to spend the special day with her large family and all their pets. In fact, it was more than a wish, she was absolutely determined.
How North Kent came together to make Susan’s wish come true.
Susan is in bed upstairs at home. She is quite poorly: she cannot walk or be carried downstairs – that would be too painful and dangerous. And there is no way that lots of people will fit into her small room.
She knows this will be her last Christmas. She wants to be with her family, downstairs with everyone she loves, and the dogs: part of the action. She wants them all to enjoy their Christmas dinner together, just like old times. And the fact that my colleague Tina and I are here in the first place, caring for Susan and her family, is all down to lovely supporters like you.
This Christmas you can help make wishes come true. Your kindness and £15, helps everyone at ellenor hospice pull out all the stops to make Christmas special for patients and families.
The hospital bed we arranged arrives at Susan’s house on Christmas Eve and is set up downstairs. On Christmas Day, Tina and I walk to the Fire Brigade and ask for their help to move her. They say, ‘YES’. Yippee! We think.
When the Fire Brigade arrive, they don’t have the right equipment, so they call the paramedics. They don’t know how long they will be. By now, Susan is getting desperate to see everyone. So the fire officer calls the Chief and equipment is sent from Tunbridge Wells. It arrives about the same time as the paramedics. Now Susan is ready to go. Phew!
Meanwhile downstairs, the family are gathering. Potatoes are being peeled. Dogs and children are running about. The table is being set. Susan’s downstairs bed means she will be part of everything. Upstairs the (now) quite big team are squashed into Susan’s room maneuvering the equipment they need to bring her down.