Walking in memory of Leonard
For many people, taking part in the Starlight Memories Walk is a wonderful way to remember those whom we have lost and hold dear. This is the case for Lynn Wilkins who is taking part in this year’s Virtual Starlight Memories Walk Challenge in memory of her late husband Leonard who sadly passed away in 2018.
Leonard worked for his local council as an Operations Manager and was very well respected amongst his colleagues. He was a very proud man and a big character. He was diagnosed with Stage 2 Oesophageal Cancer in March 2017 and underwent chemotherapy, followed by major surgery to remove the tumour. However that was not the end as he arrested in ICU following the operation and had to remain in hospital for 6 weeks. Lynn describes how “We were so positive on his discharge, but shortly after we were told the cancer had spread and the diagnosis was terminal. He returned to the hospital in the last few weeks and was then transferred to East Lancashire Hospice for end of life care”.
Lynn goes on to explain what this meant to her and her family “Practically it was overwhelming, we wanted Leonard to be at home but we don’t have a massive house and we have a large family. Initially we spoke to the Palliative Care Team at the hospice and got close to one person in particular. We spoke to Leonard about going into the hospice and it was the best decision we made. We’d gone through such a journey as a family and it felt like a weight had been lifted. The staff at the hospice understood what we were going through and could be empathetic. Daniel and I were able to stay overnight in the room with Leonard and help to care for him. We were all treated with dignity and care and Leonard’s final days were controlled and dignified which meant so much to us all”.
Since losing Leonard, Lynn and her son Daniel have supported the hospice in a number of ways including volunteering on the Inpatient Unit at the hospice where Lynn spent a period of 4 months until the pandemic hit as well as filling collection boxes at Daniel’s place of work and of course participating in the Starlight Memories Walk.
Whilst this year we are unable to walk all together due to the pandemic, we are together in our hearts. If you would like to know more about the Starlight Memories Walk please visit our website for more information https://eastlancshospice.org.uk/starlightmemorieswalk
Thank you for your support which means so much to us, our patients and their families.