Hospice staff 'can't do enough for you'
10:54am Thursday 9th February 2012 in Latest Updates
Doreen Watford has been visiting St Raphael’s Hospice day care centre for six months, once a week. The day care centre is open for three days a week and support 60 patients each week, totalling 1,410 attendances each year.
Doreen, 50, from Mitcham, said: “I love it. You’re with people who know what you are going through and how you feel. You make friends and talk to them about your situation, which helps you come to terms with what’s happening.
“You couldn’t ask for better staff, they know what to look for – they’ll chat to you or if someone wants to be left alone, that’s fine too.”
In 2005, Doreen was treated for breast cancer and then two years ago she had an accident at work.
She said: “I’ve worked at Sainsbury’s in Wandsworth since I was 15 and I sat on a chair which broke. It was very painful.
“At first I was treated for a trapped nerve until I was scanned and they discovered the cancer had spread to my bones. It’s now spread further to my liver and I’m now undergoing more chemo – fingers crossed for a good outcome.
“I’m normally a chirpy person but I burst into tears from time to time. If you’re on your own it can be very lonely, but coming to the day centre it’s wonderful as you’re among kindred spirits.”
A widow for 17 years, Doreen has a 21-year-old daughter Samantha, who is a student veterinary nurse.
She said: “My daughter was worried about me going to St Raphael’s Hospice so I suggested she come with me and see what it is like.
“When we had a tour, she saw first-hand that people don’t sit around moping – we have fun. At the end of the visit, she said ‘Mum, I understand why you want to come here’.
“I worry about what I’m leaving behind – how Samantha’s going to cope. When it comes to the end, I’d rather come to St Raphael’s Hospice than to a hospital.”
Speaking about the hospice, she said: “I wouldn’t be without it. It’s a wonderful place and the staff can’t do enough for you.
“It’s fantastic the Wimbledon Guardian has launched this appeal. You never know when or to who these illnesses will happen, so spare as much as you can for something you may benefit from one day.”