Treating each of our patients and their family members with dignity and kindness is so important to our team, respecting every individual’s unique wishes. Here Stuart Chisholm’s family remember him and their experience of our care. Stuart died in October 2021 from bladder cancer and heart failure after being cared for by our dedicated inpatient team at our Crimple House Hospice.
His daughter said: “Everyone loved Dad. He was a charming person who loved meeting and chatting with people. He could talk to anybody.
“Once an iron founder, Dad had turned his hand to sales and enjoyed many years in Portugal before returning to the Ripon area in his native Yorkshire.
“After initially recovering from cancer in 2009, Dad had an incredible 12 years of life.
“In 2021, the cancer returned, and Dad made the decision not to go through the treatment again. He didn’t want to be a burden on us and felt that he wanted to leave the world. When he found out he was able to go to Saint Michael’s, he said he couldn’t have hoped for anything better.
“There are no words to describe the care, kindness and respect that the Saint Michael’s team showed towards Dad, and our family. Every single person was an angel.
“The preservation of his dignity in his last days was invaluable to us.
“The team always spoke to Dad as a valid person, remembering who he was when he arrived, even after his condition progressed.
“Dad loved it at the hospice, where he could see the grounds from his room. He was happy to be there and so grateful.
“The volunteers, who had so often been through what we were going through, were amazing and it was really special to have that connection with them. They do a wonderful job in the garden and helping at the hospice.
“After coming home at the end of a day with Dad at the hospice, Mum realised she wanted to be with him all the time. With the team’s help, she was able to stay at Crimple House with Dad until he died, which made a big difference.
“We felt like our family was welcomed in by the Saint Michael’s family. We couldn’t be more grateful for their kindness.
“On the day that Dad died, we stood together as a collective next to the tree of life in the garden overlooking the viaduct. The sun was shining, and we were admiring the flowers- just like the ones Dad had grown in his own garden. I took a picture of a butterfly that had landed near us. Then, I looked down and saw a purple stone that said ‘always with you’ and it meant so much. The serenity that morning was so beautiful and though it was sad, it was also an incredibly positive time.
“The setting was perfect as Dad was a keen gardener. Whenever we are tending to our own flowers, we still feel close to him, imagining he is there giving us advice on our dahlias and our cosmos.
“People talk about hospices being a happy place, and it’s difficult to understand until you go there yourself. But from our experience, absolutely, it’s so true.
“We felt that Dad died well, with dignity and respect, and we will be forever grateful for that.”