Below are some short testimonies written by our patients and their loved ones about their experiences of St Peter & St James. We are very grateful to them for allowing us to share their stories with you.
By Jackie Bishop and family
We would like to express our heartfelt appreciation for all the cards, letters, donations, flowers and messages of sympathy that we have received following the death of our dearest Ron. The grief so obviously felt by so many people and the knowledge that he was thought of with such high regard has been truly overwhelming and humbling. Our thanks must also go to St. Andrew’s Surgery in Lewes and in particular Dr. R Ross who gave Ron not only good clinical care but hope and friendship too.
The family would also like to honour the way in which Ron was cared for at St Peter & St James Hospice. The whole team of professionals and volunteers who work and help there are totally dedicated to caring for the patients and their families and to ease their journey in the most considerate, respectful and dignified way. Prior to Ron becoming seriously ill, we perceived the hospice to be just a ‘place to go and die’. This could not be more wrong. He was supported for many months before he passed away. Yes, he did spend short periods of time receiving treatment including several blood transfusions, but he kept coming home again and living a good life in between. He attended weekly at the day care facility where he received relaxation techniques, massage, meditation, counselling, assessment regarding his clinical care and, importantly, to share his journey with other patients who were in a similar position to himself. He was positive, optimistic and very happy to be treated there because he could trust their judgement to keep him as well, and as pain free, as they possibly could. For this we will be eternally grateful.
As Time Passes…
By Mr A.W. May
A year on from when my dear wife Valerie passed away it is comforting to remember, gratefully, the tender care that she received from the staff of St Peter & St James Hospice in the last weeks of her life, also, the subsequent support that I and my daughter Hilary have had from the Hospice’s bereavement counsellors.
Nevertheless, there are days – for example on Valerie’s birthday and on our wedding anniversary – when my spirits can be very mixed. By coming to the Hospice when such days occur, and as time passes these low times are becoming less frequent, I have found solace in being able to sit quietly in the Chapel garden. The cherry tree that is planted there was donated by my family and reminds me of Valerie’s love of gardens. I then walk through the Hospice Woodland and sit in front of the summerhouse. Here I can enjoy the stillness and quiet of the countryside with the views across to the distant Downs (weather permitting, of course!). The peacefulness that brings lifts my spirits and enables me to reflect more easily on memories of the 53 years of a very happy marriage rather than the loss of a loving wife. I then return home with my morale and spirits restored.
I very much value the peace of mind that those visits can bring to me and thank the Hospice for that comforting facility. I am always assured of a warm welcome from the Hospice receptionists and any members of staff that I might happen to meet.
Great South Run
I had been meaning to sign up for the Great South Run just for fitness, to then discover I was too late. Mum received an email from the Hospice saying there were a few spaces remaining, and I thought what a great idea. That way I get to take part as planned and raise money for such a great cause.
A few years ago my granddad, Eddie Matthias, passed away due to prostate cancer. He spent his last few weeks at the Hospice and the staff were amazing. Since his passing we regularly think of him and my thoughts always come back to St Peter & St James Hospice for looking after him. When I was halfway around the course I looked up into the sky and Gramps encouraged me to keep on running.
I plan on doing the run again next year and hopefully improve on my time of 1hr 38mins. I seemed to have set of a trend with the family, who are also keen to take part.
Thank you for giving me this opportunity to race, the Hospice is such a great charity and I hope people will continue to support it.