My son, James, was diagnosed with a brain tumour after being in a car crash when he was only 26. He underwent major operations, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and was given eight months to live in 2014. But he defied the doctors and lived for another four years, ticking off many of his ‘bucket list’ ambitions.
James was a massive Manchester United fan and the love and support he received from fans and players was incredible. Many of the football players took part in the ‘ice bucket challenge’ in 2014, dousing themselves in cold water to raise money and awareness of James’ condition.
In 2018, when James was 35, his health deteriorated and he could no longer have any treatments and so he was admitted as an inpatient to St Ann’s Hospice in Little Hulton. Although at first James was a bit apprehensive about being in a hospice, he soon settled and built up a good rapport with the staff and volunteers.
It was great that family and friends could visit James and we used to love the gardens at the hospice and being able to sit outside together. James used to enjoy a glass of Guinness from the drinks trolley or some ice cream, there were such nice treats.
Before James was admitted to St Ann’s it was really hard looking after him at home as he was a ‘big lad’, but knowing James was in safe hands at St Ann’s and being well cared for, relieved the pressure and let us have the ‘mother and son’ relationship, rather than me being his main carer. He was in St Ann’s for about eight and a half weeks before he died and we were so grateful for the care he received there, they provided James with comfort, dignity and humour.
Wendy and her family and friends have been fundraising for St Ann’s and have nearly reached their £20,000 target in memory of James through various events and challenges over the last few years. Wendy has also taken part in the Forget-me-not appeal in previous years, making a dedication in memory of James. She said she wants to make sure the hospice is always there for other people who need our services like James did.