This week is National Storytelling Week, so to mark it we will be sharing some stories from across the hospice. Belinda recently stayed on our ward. Here, she explains how your generosity made a huge difference to her.
“When I first arrived at St Catherine’s I’d been given days to live but thanks to the hospice’s care, I’m feeling 100% better than I was. The doctors have sorted my drugs out and I’m pretty much pain free now.
I’ve been a community nurse for over 40 years
So watching how the nurses work here, and how kind, compassionate and dedicated they are, I’ve thought what a place! The nurses know how I’m being treated 24 hours a day, and they’re always here for me no matter what. It’s like they’ve got inbuilt sonar too. If I’m feeling low they’ll turn up and sit by my bed to have a chat. The team work so well together and are always so positive. That’s important when you’re in my position.
I want people to understand more about the hospice
People have a misconception that it’s just somewhere where people are dying but it’s so much more. It’s a place of relaxation, joy and respect. I’ve tried to remain as independent as I can so I’ve been walking in the hospice garden, and I love sitting out there having a cup of tea. I recently noticed some flowerpots out there decorated with the words hope, faith and love. That’s exactly what St Catherine’s represents for me.
It doesn’t feel like a hospice. It’s more like a spa
I’ve had a jacuzzi bath and enjoyed excellent food. Someone plays the piano when I’m lying on my bed resting in the afternoons, and the music’s really soothing. A lady played the harp for me in the garden too. It was lovely.
As well as caring for me the hospice supports my family
It means so much knowing everyone is supported. While I’ve been here we’ve had family chats about my wake and I’ve told my children that I want donations to St Catherine’s instead of flowers. I’ve already done the paperwork to make sure that any money I have left over comes to the hospice because I want it to help others like me.
The hospice has taken all of my worry away
I’m not going to be able to go back to work so I was feeling stressed about money, but the hospice has taken my stress level down from 100 to zero by helping me sort out my finances. Being at St Catherine’s has given me the will to fight. Their care is all about hope and encouragement. It’s not about death. I’m here to live not to die.”