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My daughter received the right support at the right time

   "We found out that my wife, Joanne, had cancer about 48 hours after our daughter, Annabel, was born in the summer of 2015.  
Joanne with her daugther Annabel (cropped)

Joanne with her daugther AnnabelUnfortunately, as brilliant a mummy as Joanne was, illness, hospitals and eventually, the Hospice, were all seemingly normal parts of Annabel's young life.  

Joanne went into the Hospice in January 2018 and within a week, the counselling team had already approached me about support and care for Annabel which, at that time, I had not considered for anyone but Joanne.  

At this point, I had no idea there was a family support organisation there that were trained in looking after both young and older children and helping them come to terms with illness and, ultimately, bereavement.    

Saint Francis' palliative and family care teams were incredible; they worked hand in glove to ensure that Annabel got the right support at the right time.  

Due to this, Annabel was already comfortable with her counsellor when Joanne died in early March.  

Her counsellor was also a real guiding light for me in terms of what Annabel's needs would be moving forward, how to create the right routine, give the right support and crucially, how to tell her what had happened to her mummy.   

Annabel is now three; she is a bright, confident, outgoing and at times cheeky little girl.  

All of this was instilled in her by her mummy.  

But her comfort in talking about her mummy and confidence in her understanding of what has happened to us is down to her wider family and the incredible counselling and support we were able to access quickly and efficiently at Saint Francis."