Alison was a patient at St Ann’s in Heald Green. Since their first visit the family, have been committed to supporting the hospice in as many ways as they can. They have taken part in the sponsored dog walk, Paws Spooktacular, Alison’s daughter, Amy, did the Colour Run and they also shared their story as part of the 2016 Forget me not Appeal.
Here Alison’s husband, Rick, shares their story and experience of St Ann’s.
Alison came into my life on Valentine’s night 2004, when a mutual friend set us up on a blind date. Six weeks later I was posted out to Iraq with the TA but we wrote to each other and she would send me parcels containing treats until I returned home later that summer.
Just a year after they first met she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer, which they lived with for the next ten years.
Alison was determined to carry on, ensuring that along with her two young children, Ben and Amy, they lived a happy, enjoyable life and in November 2006, they got married on a beautiful sunny day!
Following years of treatment and operations we were told the cancer was terminal and Alison’s pain became so unbearable that she was eventually admitted to St Ann’s in September 2015. The doctors did a fantastic job and were able to regulate her medication which made her feel much better and she was discharged after ten days.
As a family we were so relieved when Alison was at St Ann’s, as we realised it was such a special place and how much care and love everyone gave not only to Alison, but all the family. We could come and go as we pleased, even her dog, Ruby, was made welcome! Alison made a lot of friends when she was there with other patients and staff. Whether it was nurses, housekeepers, receptionists or volunteers she always spoke so highly of them and loved them all.
On two more occasions Alison was admitted to St Ann’s, but sadly on her last visit she became so ill that she didn’t end up leaving.
Whilst Alison was eventually there for end of life care, we can say it was always a happy place and we found comfort and reassurance that whatever could be done for Alison, would be. I can’t think of a better place to go in the final weeks or days, than St Ann’s and it will always hold a special place in my heart.