Light up a Life in memory of a loved one with St. Luke’s Hospice

ST. Luke’s Hospice has launched its annual ‘Light up a Life’ appeal, giving people the chance to come together to remember a loved one this Christmas-time while also supporting St. Luke’s Hospice with a donation in their name. 

This year, due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on public gatherings, the celebration will take place in the form of a special radio dedication show, in partnership with Gateway 97.8 and Basildon Hospital Radio (BHR) 87.7. 

The appeal is being supported by the family of Carol Low, who was first cared for by St. Luke’s Hospice in October last year. Before coming to the Hospice, Carol had undergone surgery relating to ovarian cancer. Unfortunately there were complications during surgery, which resulted in Carol having to undergo multiple further procedures. The family wanted her home, but it wasn’t possible. The risk of infection was too high and they didn’t know who to turn to. It was at this point a referral to St. Luke’s Hospice was suggested.

At the Hospice, the team of doctors and nurses ensured Carol’s symptoms were well managed. Carol was provided with psychological support to help deal with diagnosis and the physical effects. She was also supported by its Physiotherapy team for breathlessness and mobility, as well as accessing a range of other services such as complimentary therapies. Carol was discharged in November and continued to be supported by the Hospice. 

Following a fall and return to hospital in May this year, Carol was re-admitted to the In-Patient Unit at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, for end-of-life care.

Although some things had changed due to the pandemic, the team still cared for Carol with the same compassion as before. Carol’s family couldn’t be with her due to restrictions and government guidance, so the nurses helped Carol use FaceTime to stay in touch. Sadly her condition deteriorated and she passed away on the 10th June, with her daughters Kareen and Michelle by her side.

Kareen said: “What mum went through was extremely traumatic and without St. Luke’s Hospice’s care and support her last months would have been much harder.

“Within one minute of walking into the Hospice, we loved it. Mum was treated with so much kindness – like a person, not just a patient. The team handled her needs with dignity and made us all feel safe in the knowledge that she was in the best care possible.

“Please donate to St. Luke’s Hospice and Light up a Life this Christmas-time. Your support will mean they can be there for other families like ours.”

As well as asking local people to dedicate a donation to St. Luke’s Hospice to their loved one, this year’s Light up a Life will also bring the community together for a special two-hour radio dedication show on 20th December, 1pm – 3pm, including a pause in the show where listeners are invited to join the Hospice in lighting a candle to remember a loved one.

Sarah Stoddart, Individual Giving Manager at St. Luke’s Hospice, said: “Light up a Life is such an important annual event for the Hospice. The current pandemic means that we’re unable to come together as a community in person and we have had to cancel our established and much-loved Light up a Life services this year.

“We hope that our new for 2020 radio dedication show will still give people the chance to come together in spirit to remember of their loved ones. Thank you so much to Gateway 97.8 and BHR 87.7 for working with us on this exciting project. I hope people will get involved by donating, sending us their song dedications and tuning in to the special radio show this December.”

Special thanks to Bennetts Funerals, T Cribb & Sons Funeral Directors and West & Coe Funeral Directors for supporting Light up a Life 2020.

To find out more about Light up a Life and make a donation or song dedication, please visit www.stlukeshospice.com/light-up-a-life 

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