“The kindness shown to us by Saint Michael’s was an unforgettable source of comfort.”
Paul Ellwood received our care at our Inpatient Unit in the weeks before he died from lung cancer in March 2023, aged 51. Here, his parents Chris and Helen, share their memories of their son, and Saint Michael’s.
“People loved Paul, and he was in equal measure, very loving. He had a wicked sense of humour and natural charm. His personality always shone through, even in his final weeks.
“Paul had many friends, and they came from all over the country to visit him when at the Hospice, and also to remember him at his funeral.
“During Paul’s five weeks staying on the Inpatient Unit, Paul got to know the Saint Michael’s team, and enjoyed talking football with the healthcare assistants who always made time to chat to him.
“Everyone at Saint Michael’s was very kind and patient. When Paul was no longer able to speak, they persevered in finding ways to help him communicate, and had an understanding with him.
“The healthcare assistants and nurses would spend as long as Paul needed turning him and making sure he was comfortable. They supported him to go outside into the garden when he wished.
“We were very impressed by how the Saint Michael’s team responded to Paul’s individual needs.
“Paul’s 51st birthday fell during his time at the hospice, and the catering team provided a special cake in his honour.
“When Paul had difficulty swallowing, the chefs pureed his food in a way that make such a difference and we really appreciated their effort.
“The team were also very kind to us, and we were grateful to be able to go and see Paul there every day.
“Saint Michael’s brought not simply professional expertise, but gave truly loving care.”
“To many people, Paul was a star, and now there is a real star in the heavens named after Paul for us to remember him by.”
Paul’s relatives have officially registered a star which they’ve named “The Pazne”- Paul’s nickname- and can track its progress through the night sky.
Resident family astronomer Michelle updates the family on The Pazne’s location, giving those close to Paul regular opportunities to reflect on the way in which he touched their lives.
Family and friends also regularly wear a gold star as a memorial, with funds from sales kindly donated to Saint Michael’s.
Paul’s sister-in-law, Jo, is taking on the Great North Run this September in his memory. If you wish to donate, please visit Jo’s Just Giving page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jo-caukwell3
If you’d like to speak about special ways to remember your loved one, please email firstname.lastname@example.org