The family

“The St Barnabas team made sure our house still felt like a home, even though he was so poorly.”

Stevie French and her mum, Nikki, have said a huge thank you to St Barnabas Hospice for the care and support they gave the whole family when Stevie’s dad, Andy, was diagnosed with sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in May 2017. CJD is a rare terminal condition which causes brain damage that worsens rapidly over time.

Stevie said, “Dad’s condition deteriorated very quickly, and he died on 21st July 2017. We had a few different carers visit the house, but our favourites by far were the St Barnabas Hospice at Home team. They helped every morning with getting Dad up and ready for the day. I found it so difficult to do the hands-on care as it was hard to see him this way. It was really comforting to know that St Barnabas were there to support us through the tough parts.

“Dad was very social and loved being out and about doing things, so I know he wouldn’t have liked relying on other people for his care. The St Barnabas nurses were incredible as they made it feel like Dad needing help to change his clothes wasn’t that big a deal, so he could keep some dignity. They were so easy to talk to and fit straight in with our family.

“It was difficult to watch him becoming so vulnerable and having to rely on other people for support, but I gained a lot of comfort from St Barnabas looking after our family and helping as much as they did. During such a troubling time, this comfort was worth its weight in gold.”

Nikki added, “The respect that St Barnabas showed Andy was lovely and they made sure our house still felt like a home, even though he was so poorly. Their support meant more than can be said and I will be forever grateful to St Barnabas for helping us through such a difficult time.”

Last year, St Barnabas cared for 1,949 people in their own home. This is where they feel safe and comfortable and can spend precious time with their loved ones. The care St Barnabas provides is completely free of charge and they wouldn’t be able to provide this care without the generosity and kindness of their supporters. It costs the Hospice £136.67 to pay for a Hospice at Home nurse to visit a patient in their own home. If you can spare any money to help keep this free service going, please visit www.stbarnabashospice.co.uk/donate.

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