Last summer Jan Woolgar from Nantwich received the news which every cancer survivor dreads; after 11 years in remission her cancer had returned and it was terminal. Jan’s daughter Beth talked to us recently about her Mum and explained the difference St Luke’s made to her and her family at such a challenging time. “Mum had been ill for a number of months before we knew for certain that the cancer had come back; she was on oxygen at home and having panic attacks, I remember calling the ambulance at one point, it became a very stressful time.
Moving to St Luke’s helped everyone; I was with her all the time when she was in the Hospice, my Dad and brothers were able to stay too. Mum had secondary breast cancer in her brain and lungs, and as a patient at St Luke’s she absolutely loved the art workshop because it allowed her to express how she was feeling. She loved to draw, to sit in the gardens and have her family and friends at any time. It was around this time that I realised she might never see me and my fiancé Matt get married; we had been engaged for years as our initial plans to get married on my 21st had to be put on hold when Matt had an accident and when our children were born our priorities changed. I desperately wanted Mum to be there with me when I said ‘I do’, so we started making enquiries and Mum was the one that suggested Wychwood Park. We went to look around and fell in love with the venue; looking back I think the wedding was the one thing that kept her going.
As the wedding got closer we realised Mum wouldn’t be well enough to come; I was devastated. We spoke to the nurses about it and then to St Luke’s Chaplain Rick, and before I knew it they had offered to organise us an intimate wedding blessing for us in the Hospice Chapel!
When the day arrived I left Wychwood in my big dress and squeezed into my Dad’s old VW for the drive over to St Luke’s!
I will always remember walking into the Chapel and seeing Mum look so beautiful. Everyone who was there has such a wonderful lasting memory of Mum; I cannot thank St Luke’s enough for those memories.
Friends and family have been so generous with their donations both at the wedding and since she has died, and more than £2,200 has been given to St Luke’s in her memory. We are so grateful to St Luke’s for making what was truly an awful few weeks into many happy memories which I am blessed to have.”