Our 12 Days of Christmas campaign, highlighting the work of East Lancashire Hospice continue and today we look at one family’s personal connection with the hospice

In October, Brenda Hoyle aged 77, passed away at East Lancashire Hospice having spent a number of weeks being cared for on the Inpatient Unit.

Brenda was a much loved wife to Sid and mother to Mark, Shaun and Gillian as well as grandmother to four granddaughters and throughout the time she spent at the hospice, Brenda’s family were by her side.

Following her cancer diagnosis, Brenda was initially visited district nurses organised through the hospice.

The family was then introduced to Elaine, in the hospice Community Nurse Specialist Team who they fondly nicknamed ‘Curly Elaine’ due to her ringlets much like Brenda’s own. She had been affectionately called ‘Little Curly Brenda’ throughout her life!

They worked to ensure that Brenda had everything she needed to remain at home and supported the family in every way to enable this.

At the beginning of October, Brenda was admitted to the hospice for a medication review and to manage her pain and sickness after all attempts to remain at home became too much for the family to handle.

Gillian said: “Mum felt so comfortable and content and even said to me ‘I’m glad I’m in here, I feel at peace’.”

The staff were ‘absolutely amazing’ and talked to Brenda and her family in detail to explain everything and made sure they always understood what was happening.

When Brenda became anxious, missing her grandchildren, the hospice arranged for them to come and visit encouraging them to fill Brenda’s room with things from home and fairy lights to lift her spirits.

When Brenda’s friend came to visit they shared a bottle of their favourite wine in the glow of the lights her family had hung. Missing her garden, Brenda was moved to a room which had doors opening on to the garden. She was also able to see her beloved sausage dog, Alfie who regularly popped in for a visit much to the delight of the staff!

Brenda and her husband Sid celebrated their 57th wedding anniversary in style, as the Hospice decorated the lounge area and welcomed the whole family to be together and enjoy a Champagne afternoon tea courtesy of Café Retreat at East Lancashire Hospice.

As Brenda’s illness progressed, hospice staff were able to put a bed in Brenda’s room so Gillian could be close to her mum until her passing.

Gillian said: “You hear the staff at the hospice talk about the ‘hospice family’ and I honestly feel like I’m a part of this, I made so many special memories there with both mum and the staff and felt at ease with everyone and don’t think I could ever thank them enough.”

If you would like to support East Lancashire Hospice this Christmas by making a donation, you can do so by visiting www.eastlancshospice.org.uk/christmas or alternatively by calling our Fundraising Team on (01254) 287014. Thank You!