Making miles matter for Dad

Making memories

“I truly believe that it was the care of St Luke’s that gave my dad the chance to meet his grandson and have six precious weeks with him.”

For every patient we care for, there are family or loved ones going through the unimaginable. Which is why memory making is so important to us. We want to give our patients the chance to live until they die, making precious memories with loved ones.

St Luke’s Midnight Walk

Jade Moore will be taking part in our Midnight Walk on Friday 12 July in memory of her father, Stuart Moore who died in September last year after being diagnosed with tonsil cancer.

Stuart received care from us in the final six months of his life, with our specialist unit at Turnchapel becoming ‘a second home’ for him alongside receiving care from our at home teams.

Memories with Dad

Jade reflects back on her dad before his diagnosis and what life was like for her and her sister Crystal.

“My dad was a single parent to us from infants until we left home, we lived in Plymouth when we were young but moved to Saltash and spent most of our family life there.

“We had a lovely childhood in Saltash we struggled with money, but apart from that I wouldn’t change anything, my dad was a dedicated and loving father who put us first always.

“Before he got ill my dad was an unwavering tree of strength, he put on a cold exterior but he was soft really. He was my rock, my guide and my counsel. I’d never seen him cry before I was 18 years old, he was a constant. He was always there to cook tea, to put us to bed, to do our homework with us, attend award ceremonies. He didn’t miss a single thing, we were his top priority and he was never absent at any point.”

‘You can be daughters again now’

It was the warmth and comfort of the St Luke’s teams at our specialist unit that made a huge impact on Jade. She recounts the day that he was admitted to the unit. “That day was something I won’t forget. We were all exhausted, traumatised and desperate, I didn’t know what to expect. The way they treated Dad and us from the get go was with the utmost care and consideration, they helped him settle into his room, we were able to bring home comforts for him from his house, I remember a nurse telling me, ‘You can be daughters again now, we’ll take over the care’ and it felt like every single muscle in my body that had been trembling for days relaxed.”

Supporting the family

In the time that followed, every time she visited her dad, she was made to feel at ease, she remembers how certain figures stood out for her during his stay at Turnchapel, from two of the nurses taking her dad on a trip to Morrisons, to volunteers going above and beyond to ensure that the whole family were supported.

“I remember the reception night support worker Andy looking out for Dad so much. Dad had a lot of emotions to process coming to terms with what was happening, and even though we went everyday he was lonely without an adult ear to share his thoughts. Andy always looked out for him checked in on him and talked to him, he’d give us a heads up when we’d arrive about how he was doing, I’ll forever be grateful to him.

“I was a barista for a bit before I had to leave my job to care for Dad. In casual conversation one day at the hospice Dad mentioned that he’d never had an Irish coffee. I said I could make him one, the volunteers went out and got the specific ingredients for it just so Dad could have an Irish coffee made by his daughter.”

A calming oasis

For many of our patients and their families, the garden space at Turnchapel provides a calming oasis and a chance to take in the beautiful views of Plymouth Sound. Jade and her dad would often spend time outside, making friends with the resident cat.

“We spent a lot of time in the gardens, having that outdoor area was of immense comfort and healing during our stay at St Luke’s. Theres a ginger kitty that wanders around the hospice grounds called Marmalade, we had named it Dribbles. For the time we weren’t there, Dad had Dribbles, that cat saved all of us from dark moments, when we’d have a cry it’d come us give us a cuddle.”

Meeting baby Ollie

Becoming a grandparent is a special moment in anyone’s life and was a life event that Jade’s dad was not going to miss without a fight.

At five months pregnant, Jade was told that her dad had days left to live, but it would actually be another five months later in September 2023 that Jade had to finally say goodbye, meaning he got to meet her newborn boy Ollie, something she had been worrying would never happen.

“About a week into Dad’s stay I was still coming to terms with what was happening and how my dad wouldn’t meet my baby boy. A nurse organised a memory bear for me where Dad recorded a message for Ollie, in the moment it was so sad, but I’ll be forever grateful for the irreplaceable keepsake I have for Ollie now.

“The day my dad passed baby Ollie was just six weeks old, afterwards I was inconsolable for a while, and whilst I was coming to terms with it the nurses took care of baby Ollie.

“I truly believe that it was the care of St Luke’s that gave my dad the chance to meet his grandson and have those six precious weeks with him. Everyone at St Luke’s from the receptionists to the volunteers looked out for our family in a way that I’d never received before, it made me see the good in the world in the darkest period of my life.”

A shining light in our darkest desperate times

Jade will be walking alongside her sister, husband and mother-in-law at our Midnight Walk in July. This will be the first year she has taken part, but she is looking at it as a special tribute to her dad.

“I chose to do the Midnight Walk as I’ve chosen to try and participate in as much as I can fundraising wise regarding St Luke’s. I have done as much as I can to raise money already, in total I think we’ve raised £700 since he died. I am dedicated to it. I cannot fault the care my dad received, I have never seen such compassionate care towards us or my dad.

“They were a shining light in our darkest desperate times. I will never truly be able to do enough to thank them, but I will try my best to for the rest of my life.”

Visit Jade’s JustGiving page here.

Sign up for Midnight Walk

If you would like to take part in our Midnight Walk, sponsored by Michael Spiers Jewellers then sign up now.

It is the inspirational fundraisers like Jade that go above and beyond to ensure that others like her dad get the treatment and care that they deserve at the end of their life. Remember to set up your fundraising page and help make a difference.

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