Clare Sinclair’s kind and caring nature touched the hearts of everyone she met. She always put others first and was happiest when she was making her friends and family smile.
When Clare was sadly diagnosed with terminal cancer in September 2017, her devoted husband of 14 years Les was determined to make every moment count.
He stayed by her side around the clock, comforting and caring for her as she spent three weeks at Royal Stoke University Hospital after being admitted in September 2017.
But as 42-year-old Clare’s condition deteriorated, she made the decision to spend her final days at Dougie Mac.
Les said: “Clare was so brave but she knew her body and was aware that she didn’t have long left. She was adamant that she wanted to go to Dougie Mac rather than going home as she knew that I would really struggle to cope. That was typical of Clare, always thinking of others.”
Clare, who worked at Barclays in Northwich and lived in Newcastle-under-Lyme, moved to Dougie Mac on October 6 where she was overwhelmed by the support she received before she passed away on October 26.
Les added: “Clare was so relieved when she arrived at Dougie Mac. The view she had from her window was incredible, there were green fields dotted with cattle as far as the eye could see. It was the perfect room for Clare as she grew up on a farm and loved animals.”
It was this vista that inspired Les to come up with a unique experience for Clare. He did some research and was able to track down a family friend who had a Shetland Pony.
The pony – Mario – was not only able to come onto the Dougie Mac grounds, he could even visit the wards!
“Clare was surrounded by horses and ponies as a child and had always loved them. I knew she was too ill to be taken anywhere in the car but when the team told me they were more than happy to facilitate a visit at the hospice, I was over the moon,” said Les. “Clare loved meeting Mario and in her typical fashion, she not only had a smile on her face, she was also able to help other patients as the pony visited each of them too. I was only able to arrange this thanks to the wonderful people at the hospice. It was an amazing day and one that I will always remember.”
Clare was also able to enjoy a meal from her favourite eatery – Bert’s at Newcastle-under-Lyme – during her time at the Dougie Mac. She invited 18 of her close family and friends who all tucked into a special takeaway banquet prepared by the restaurant.
Les explained: “Clare hadn’t been able to eat for two-and-a-half days before the party but she was determined that it would go ahead – she even managed to eat a bit of her burger! This was another occasion that I will treasure forever and, again, was made extra special by the kind-hearted nurses at the hospice.
“There really are no words to describe what the team at Dougie Mac did for Clare and for myself. They were always there to provide help and comfort and really went the extra mile for us.”