Mandy & Alex’s story

Mandy's stepdaughter Alex died at the hospice in 2019, here Mandy shares her experience of St Ann's.

My stepdaughter, Alex, was admitted to St Ann’s Hospice. Just before she came into the hospice, I decided to try and start a kitchen garden which I had told Alex about.

Whilst she was being cared for at St Ann’s we had many conversations about my kitchen garden and we discussed what I was going to plant. She ordered a book about allotments and growing vegetables as a surprise for me.

I started growing some vegetables from seeds and I also bought some that were already growing, as time was limited, I wanted to be able to show Alex pictures of what I’d picked and my plans. She asked me to plant some peas for her dad because he loves them, which I did.

Sadly, Alex died in April 2019. In her last few weeks she was keen that we should try and be mindful and be grateful that we were in each others lives, rather than be upset she has gone.

It was hard to continue with the garden at times after Alex died but over time I was able to carry on and I enjoyed growing the vegetables in her memory. It’s on our patio and we feel close to her when we are sat there. When I’m gardening and looking after the vegetables I think of her and it makes me happy that I now have something I’ve loved doing and she was part of. It’s grown into something really positive for us.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone at St Ann’s for all their care for Alex and others at the hospice. Alex was only in St Ann’s for a few weeks but the care she received was exceptional. The staff took our worry and stress away of making sure she was well cared for and allowed us all a chance to be together as a family. I’m so grateful I was able to share those special moments planning my kitchen garden with her.