Watch emotional reunion between Ashgate Hospice staff and Sheffield and north Derbyshire relatives who lost loved ones

Ashgate Hospice has released three ‘emotionally charged’ videos reuniting its staff with the relatives of patients they cared for in their final days.

Sunday, 10th October 2021, 7:11 pm
Updated Sunday, 10th October 2021, 7:11 pm
In an emotional reunion with Lucy, Graham reveals that he believes her support “extended the life” of his wife.

The videos, released as part of Hospice Care Week, reveal the crucial support patients and their families receive.

Thirty-eight-year-old Simon Birley, from Clowne married his wife Lindsay in a special ceremony at the hospice where Lindsay was being cared for in Ashgate’s Inpatient Unit in October 2020.

Tragically, Lindsay died just one month later.

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Simon said: "Throughout her short illness, she never once complained; it’s just awful that one minute we’d just welcomed our son Isaac into the world and were so happy, the next thing life comes crashing to pieces. All we ever wanted was our own family, and then cancer took it away from us."

In the video, Simon breaks down in tears when he is reunited with Ashgate’s Ward Manager, Karen Walker, who supported the couple on their special day.

He adds: “Karen is just an amazing person. It’s hard to put into words the difference that somebody has made. When my life had been shattered and I was seeing my loved one changing due to the disease, Karen was there to support us all.”

In another video, 61-year-old Sheryle Scott, from Sheffield, pays tribute to Helen Harrison, an Ashgate Community Nurse Specialist who cared for her brother Mark Coley at home after he was diagnosed with MND.

Simon, Lindsay and their 15-month-old son Isaac on their wedding day. Image: Tom Hodgson.

Sheryle said: “Without Helen, I don’t know what we would’ve done. We felt like we’d known her all our lives.

"With Helen, her patients must all feel the same way, we felt that we were the only patients she had."

In the final video, Graham Matthews, from Killamarsh, returns to Ashgate to reunite with Lucy, the physiotherapist who “helped to extend the life” of his wife Diane, who was diagnosed with Multiple System Atrophy, a rare degenerative neurological condition similar to Motor Neurone Disease.

Graham said: “We were so worried about how life would end for Diane, but fortunately, thanks to the support of everyone at Ashgate, it was very peaceful for her.

“Lucy was a big part of Diane’s life towards the end. She helped make a terrible situation much brighter and more cheerful."