In January 2017 our happy, loving daughter Kathryn, aged 41, was diagnosed with terminal cancer. She underwent many treatments in hospitals across Surrey to delay the disease and reduce her pain and we moved down from Perthshire to be with Kathryn in her home. But despite their best efforts the doctors eventually exhausted what they could do for her, and Kathryn was transferred to Woking Hospice in late August 2017, where she passed away peacefully on 15 September.
Kathryn’s first experience of Woking Hospice was with the Clinical Nurse Specialists who came to her home. She made a particular connection with Sarah, who through the months that followed kept in contact and gave her support and advice that we as parents were not able to give.
On the day she transferred from hospital to the hospice the change was immediate. Gone was the hectic, busy and noisy environment of the hospitals into the bright, friendly and calm environment of the hospice. From the moment she arrived we could see that Kathryn accepted where she was and despite the reason for being there she seemed instantly relaxed and settled. Her room was bright and airy and just didn’t look like a hospital room it was spacious well furnished and Jean was able to stay with Kathryn every night.
We all benefitted from the family room and the café which was a refreshing change of scene. When Kathryn’s friends came there was usually a party atmosphere and her brother set up a film night showing a film she wanted to see in her room.
There is an ethos that seems to be shared by everyone not just the medical staff about getting it right. The reception desk, housekeepers and ward nurses embraced all of us as if we were all family and that is how we felt about them.
It is our plan as a family to attend the Light Up a Life event on 7 December to remember Kathryn, Jeans Mum who sadly passed away in December and her Sister Anne who passed away in February 2018. We attended Light Up a Life last year and felt we took great strength from it at a time we really needed it.
You can find out about our Light Up a Life services here