Two members of the same family, Ann and Jacqueline, received specialist palliative care from City Hospice at the end of their lives. Like mother, like daughter, both were strong to the end.
Doted on by her husband John for almost 60 years of marriage, Ann didn’t let a stroke early in her life or COPD stop her achieving anything she set out to do. Described as a beautiful, strong woman, mother of five Ann always saw the best in people and never had a bad word to say about anyone.
Ann became unwell in November 2016. Initially seen by gastroenterologists, Ann was referred to lung specialists and, following scans and X-rays, was sadly diagnosed with lung cancer.
Ann’s daughter Julie said: “Mam took the news in her stride, while the rest of us were understandably devastated. We’re a really close, supportive family so we all rallied around her. Her grandchildren were particularly amazing with her and helped, along with City Hospice, to fulfil her wish to be cared for at home.
“We were very lucky to have the care of City Hospice. From medication to equipment, they put everything in place and were always able to help, nothing was too much trouble. Even after mam passed, they continued to look after us and I have benefited hugely from the charity’s counselling and reflexology services.”
In March 2020, Julie’s sister Jacqueline, 54, was diagnosed with leukaemia. During her illness, Jacqui was cared for by the same City Hospice nurses who had cared for Ann.
Julie said: “Jacqui became very ill in the spring this year. At the same time, our father had a stroke but luckily he pulled through and they got to spend some quality time together in hospital before they were transferred home.
“The nurses, who had been so helpful with mam, were fantastic. They focused 100 per cent on Jacqui’s needs and wishes and supported her husband, daughter and grandchildren who Jacqui loved dearly. Once again, City Hospice has been here for the family with their bereavement service for which we are so grateful.”
Following her mother’s passing, Julie took part in the Edinburgh 10k and Cardiff Half Marathon to thank City Hospice for all they had done for the family. Now, fresh from completing The Sparkle Walk with family, friends and her dogs in memory of Ann and Jacqui, Julie is preparing to run next year’s Cardiff Half with friends as “Jacqueline’s Warriors” in memory of her sister.
Julie was also involved in Llanishen High School’s ‘Heart and Sole Cardiff to Patagonia’ challenge for City Hospice earlier this year.
Julie said: “I threw myself into the challenge; cycling, walking, I was always doing something! It was incredible to see the whole school community, including lots of ex-pupils, come together to learn more about the charity and raise awareness of the hospice’s work.”
A donation made during the Light Up A Life campaign will make a world of difference to a family facing terminal illness in the community. To donate, visit http://www.cityhospice.org.uk/star-in-the-sky/ or call 02920 524 150.