“The hospice staff were so understanding and knew when to come in and when to leave us alone with Sarah which was really important to us. First and foremost the hospice gave Sarah pain relief more than anything. She was unconscious for the majority of her time in the hospice and her pain was very bad. In hospital they could only do so much. Although Sarah was only in the hospice 5 days it made a difference.
The hospice gave us peace of mind. It’s a very good place to go and isn’t just for older people. Sarah was only 36 when she died. I couldn’t have survived the last few days with Sarah without the hospice. We were all on first name terms with the staff and they cried with me when we lost Sarah.
It doesn’t feel like you would expect a hospice to feel like and certainly didn’t fit with my own opinion of what a hospice was. It’s like a hotel with the relaxed layout, atmosphere and nice big bathrooms. People see the hospice as a place to die but it’s not. It offers respite and support for the family. We were so well looked after – on the first night they let 10 of Sarah’s family and friends stay. There’s a kitchen where we could make a brew whenever we felt like it and restaurant to have a nice meal.
The doctor was very good at explaining everything in simple terms so I could understand. I just wanted Sarah to be pain free and our family wishes were taken into account.
Sarah faced her illness with dignity and courage and she coped with everything so well. Even when she began to feel really ill, she was so strong for her two boys. They were her life. She loved children and was really good with little ones. I know that of all she was, she’ll be remembered as a brilliant mother because she really was. Just an absolutely wonderful mum to Toby, 10 and Jack, six. It was devastating to break the news to them but I wanted to do it myself. Jack is so young and doesn’t quite understand. He said: ‘So when will Mummy be back then? Two years? Three years?’ And I had to tell him that she wasn’t coming back. I was with her all the time, right until the end. I was holding her hand up until she died. We just really thought we’d have more time.
“I’m so proud of Sarah’s friends who have put a lot of effort into raising money for the hospice since she died. They’ll keep her memory going just as her family will.”
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