“Having worked at the Cheadle Shop for 14 years, initially starting as a volunteer, I’ve always been aware of the great work the hospice does caring for those with life-limiting illnesses and their families. I never envisioned that in such a small space of time, I would be calling on the Dougie Mac on two separate occasions. However, when disaster struck, I experienced the hospice’s care and support first hand and it only confirmed what I knew” says Angie.
It was a family affair for Angie with Mum Shirley and sister Jenny both volunteering at the Cheadle Shop too. In 2014, Shirley, who had been living with breast cancer, discovered it had unfortunately spread which led to her admission into Dougie Mac’s Inpatient Unit.
“Mum was cared for inexplicably well in the 6 weeks she was there by the nurses who managed her pain and made her as comfortable as possible. Family and friends rallied around and we were able to spend as much time with her as we wanted. The staff and volunteers became friends to us and were pillars of support during the most difficult moments. Nothing was too much; it was like a little hotel and the small touches, such as the nurses making you a brew without asking, really made me realise what an amazing place Dougie Mac is.”
When Shirley passed away in June 2015, it wasn’t long before the family suffered another devastating blow. Angie’s sister Jenny was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Jenny now also worked for Dougie Mac, after moving from her volunteer role to the managerial role for the homeware division of the Cheadle shop. Jenny continued to work at the shop throughout her treatment and really appreciated the support from all the staff, volunteers and customers.
Sadly though in July 2017, things took a turn for the worse and Jenny was no longer able to work, being admitted to Dougie Mac shortly after.
“Coming back to the Dougie Mac with Jen, the place we’d both lost Mum, could have been so hard but seeing the friendly faces of nurses that had cared for Mum helped us both settle in. I can’t praise the ward staff and volunteers enough. They truly were angels, offering the support, and more, at a time when we needed it most. They even recognised us from visiting mum 2 years ago.”
“We really made a lot of priceless memories with the help of the nurses; a highlight was having a family picnic out on the patio. Jenny’s room was on a different ward to where Mum had been and it had recently been refurbished – it even had a double bed. I’m eternally grateful that I got to stay with Jenny, side by side for the two weeks before she passed away – I barely left her. We’d watch TV, chat and laugh and it was like we were back to being kids, having sleepovers again.”
“Jenny was such a strong character and would go out of her way to help people, always putting them first – I didn’t once see her cry. Jenny passed away on 15th September last year, leaving behind her husband Carl and my niece Holly, now 13. The loss has been difficult to adjust to and returning to work without Jenny hasn’t been easy. However, all the team really pulled together and made it that little bit easier.”
“I am so proud that we’re lucky enough to have somewhere like Dougie Mac on our doorsteps. The care and support is truly outstanding; it meant so much to our family that someone was always going that extra mile. Jenny would have loved to see everyone pull together.
Jenny spent her final days in comfort, making memories with her family and friends – we need to make sure that everyone has this opportunity.”