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Amanda's Story

Amanda Singer wrote us this letter, accompanied with a cheque from a fundraising event she'd held as a thank you for the care we gave her dad, Kevin, and her grandad, Kenneth. 

Kenneth-Burfield (cropped)

In November 2013, my dad was admitted to Saint Francis Hospice, to help manage his symptoms associated with the aggressive brain tumour that was cruelly destroying him.
He was plagued by seizures and the tumour was causing him pain and making him angry, frustrated and prone to aggressive outbursts. It was just hideous.

My dad was only 60 and the shocking discovery of the tumour took him away from us so quickly. 11 weeks from initial diagnosis to his death on the afternoon of Monday 18th November.

In many ways, we lost him before this, the tumour robbed him of the ability to communicate effectively, understand or make sense of anything, even simple in-built tasks such as toileting became almost impossible for him to master.

During his time in your care, he was looked after so well. The staff team were so kind and gentle and caring towards him, whilst discreetly tending his every need. When it became
apparent that his body was shutting down, I made the difficult journey from my home in Devon - where Dad used to love visiting - to Essex to be with him and my mum. It was by far the hardest journey I’ve ever had to make. 

Dad waited for me though. In fact, he hung on for four more days and you allowed my mum and me to stay in his room with him. Mum couldn’t leave him to die alone. And I couldn't possibly leave my mum in case he died in the night leaving her alone.

I have written before to thank you for allowing us that time with him. For not demanding we leave, which would have been the case had he been in a hospital. For moving us to the suite as the end drew even closer. When dad died, he was loved and surrounded by his family. It’s a day I will never forget. I will be forever grateful for the way you cared for my dad, and for my family and me.

Kenneth-Burfield (cropped) Kenneth-Burfield (cropped)
                  Amanda with her dad, Kevin.                 Amanda's grandad, Kenneth. 

Sadly, that was not the only involvement Saint Francis Hospice would have with my family. As we approached the difficult first anniversary of my dad’s death, my dad’s father (my grandad) was also diagnosed with a brain tumour. He died on Saturday 16th November 2014. He was at home, as per his wishes, with my Nan, one of my aunties and a Saint Francis Hospice nurse.

Once again the wonderful Saint Francis Hospice took care of everything, providing care and compassion to my grandad and my Nanna, during his final hours. Your nurse made all the difficult calls and dealt with the admin of death, saving my dear bereft Nanna the
awful task. Thank you once again.

Saint Francis Hospice will always hold a special place in my heart. Even though I no longer live locally, I am keen to donate whenever I can. It’s the best way I can thank you for all you have done for the Burfield Family.