Our Hospice Hero Patricia Chipping

“My first contact with the hospice was when my best friend Barbara died of cancer, aged 52, in the original Sam Beare ward more than 20 years ago. The ward itself was very basic then, just eight or so beds separated by curtains, but the care was wonderful.

Sadly, in 2005 Barbara’s husband Colin stayed for three weeks in Sam Beare before passing away from bowel cancer. Colin was my husband Roy’s best friend. This time we had the comfort of knowing how well Colin would be cared for and by then the ward had also been upgraded to individual rooms.

Five years later, we were back again. Roy had already lived with Alzheimer’s for ten years when he was diagnosed with lung cancer. I was caring for him at home, and he needed me with him or he would become very confused and worried.

Once again Woking & Sam Beare Hospices were there for us, putting an extra bed into Roy’s room so that I could stay with him to reassure him. He had no short term memory, which in a way was a blessing because he couldn’t remember that he was so seriously ill. As he fortunately had no pain, his hospice stay was more about him being in a safe and caring environment the end of his life, where pain relief could be given quickly if it was suddenly needed.

For me, staying on the ward was such a relief, because I knew that I didn’t have to cope by myself, and that I could always have a break knowing that Roy would be supported if I needed to pop out or have a little time to myself. I was also comforted to know that I wouldn’t be alone when he passed away, that there would always be a nurse with me if my family couldn’t join us in time, although my daughter and son-in-law were there to say goodbye to Roy.

After Roy passed away I started fundraising. I work in a club in Shepperton, and my friends and colleagues there have been very generous. I raised £2,100 last year doing the Midnight Walk with my granddaughter Emily, 22. We also did the Santa Fun Run and we’re signing up for the 2017 Midnight Walk. I’m proud to be a part of supporting the charity as they have supported us.

My family know that, if it wasn’t for donations to the charity, Barbara, Colin and Roy wouldn’t have had the wonderful care that they received – and neither would we. The level of comfort, support and understanding from the staff is amazing. I still meet up once a month with a support group of others who have been helped by Woking & Sam Beare Hospices and I feel a very strong connection to the people and the place that has helped us so much over the years.”

Patricia Chipping one of our wonderful Hospice Heroes 

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For more information and to register for the 2017 Midnight Walk visit its website at www.wsb-midnightwalk.co.uk.