“There are not enough words to describe the care; it was phenomenal”

5th August 2019

Alan Kember

“Thank you from the bottom of my heart for buying St Barnabas raffle tickets each year. The money raised will help people like me attend regular coffee mornings to help relieve anxiety at such a difficult time.”

“When Helen and I started going to the coffee mornings there was an immediate, fantastic bond between everyone. There are two therapy dogs that come in every Tuesday and put a huge smile on people’s faces. They’re so friendly and people-orientated. I still come back to the coffee mornings now that Helen is gone because I enjoy the company so much and I think I can possibly give something back to the Hospice.

“My beautiful wife, Helen, was diagnosed in 2014 with stage four lung cancer which had spread to her neck, collarbone and both lungs. She was treated with chemotherapy for four years until last summer when she asked if she could stop the treatment. She had just had enough. Immediately Helen got a quality of life back but the cancer spread to her brain in January 2019 and she died very quickly after that at the St Barnabas Inpatient Unit in Lincoln.

“There are not enough words to describe the care; it was phenomenal during the four-and-a-half weeks Helen was in the Hospice. It wasn’t just care for her; it was care for me, for the whole family and for our friends who came up.

“The staff at the Hospice were just brilliant; not just the nurses and doctors but also the volunteers, the cooks, everybody. The first thing they got us was a blue badge. Such a small thing really made all the difference because Helen couldn’t walk very well, one of her lungs had collapsed and she had no breath.

“A special memory to me was on my birthday, three days before Helen died. Helen was quite agitated during a visit and my daughter and I completely broke down to the nurses as we left. Every single nurse came out and we had a group hug for about ten minutes. Everybody was so genuine about it and that was just so moving. I’ll always remember it.

“Helen and I were married for 42 years and she taught me three big things in life. She taught me generosity, she taught me kindness and she taught me how to have fun. Six months ago she said to me “I don’t mind if I die, we’ve had such a brilliant life.” She was great and I’m going to miss her like crazy. I do miss her like crazy.

“If I could spend one more day with my beautiful wife, I think I’d just stay sat down with her, hold her hand and just look into her eyes.”

If you would like to purchase some raffle tickets to help more families like Alan and Helen, please call our Lottery office on 01522 546 500. Tickets are £1 each or £20 for a book, and the first prize is an incredible £3,000.

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