Children In Need: My time with Stella has turned my life around.
Daniel Morgan was very close to his nan Sheila Crowley, who was cared for by our Hospice at Home team before she died in March 2016.
Read Daniel’s story to find out how Stella helped Daniel come to terms with losing his beloved nan.
My name is Daniel and I’m 15 years old. I had support from Saint Francis Hospice because of the death of my grandma last year.
My grandma developed an illness in late 2015, an illness that could only become worse. I didn’t understand what was going on: it didn’t seem serious enough to be concerning once we found out that there was something wrong. Months went by and the illness became worse. The doctors thought it was cancer at first. No. It was diagnosed as Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis and the illness slowly took away the grandma I knew. The one who shared a hobby with my grandad: golf. All she could do in the last 4 months of her life was lie there on the sofa and let people nurse her. My grandma often got rushed into hospital which was worrying. Questions ran through my mind. How long have we got with her? Will this illness fade away?
Daniel's nan Sheila Crowley
Even though the illness didn’t have a cure, she remained optimistic: even when she spent New Year’s Day 2016 in a hospital bed. We managed to get her home comfortably. She lay there in her hospice at home bed. Day by day she lay there, not worrying about how it would affect her, but how it would affect the family. The illness caused a great loss to the family, a loss that no one else could fulfil.
My time with Stella has turned my life around. The first time I went to counselling I really was not looking forward to going. I remember thinking it’s a place for the ill, the ones close to death, not for me. I even asked my mum, “How many do I have to go to?” She told me “wait till you go there and decide if you want to go again after your first session.”
Stella informed me that anything I told her in the room I had counselling, would stay in the room. My trust in Stella strengthened even though I tend to keep secrets. Counselling isn’t a frightening situation, you can tell your counsellor as little or as much information as you want. There is no pressure. I haven’t told my friends anything about counselling. Everyone is different, some like others to know and some don’t. Stella will not force you to say anything you don’t feel comfortable with sharing. The question you tend to be asked is “How are you coping?” because counsellors like to help you understand anything you need help understanding.