Holly Addison’s father was cared at the Katharine House in-patient unit for seven weeks, including over the Christmas and New Year period 2014/2015.
During this time, the whole family received support giving them the freedom to be able to create some special memories together.
With thanks to Holly for sharing the experience of her father, her family and herself during this time.
“So Katharine House is really special to me because my Dad was here for seven weeks, which I think is considerably longer than the average patient. And it was over a special time as well. Being over Christmas, I think our experience was quite unique.
“The nurses are just amazing; they’re like angels. I just can’t put into words how amazing they were, not just for my Dad but for me and my family. They were really supportive to help me complete my degree. I was in my second year of uni, and I was missing a lot of lectures, so they helped me secure Wi-Fi so I could Skype my lectures.
“We had Christmas day here. We had New Year’s Eve here. We all had a bit of a takeaway with the nurses, and I got Christened here; that was really special.
“Nothing is too much to ask of Katharine House. The chefs baked me a cake for my Christening. They decorated all the day room for us to have Christmas dinner. The dog was here. So many amazing memories that we can now see in a positive light because of the staff of Katharine House. I sort of felt like they became my family as well.
“My Dad loved it. He always said: ‘Oh, don’t put me in a hospice. It’s not somewhere I ever want to go.’ But he’d only been here a day or two, and I think he turned to my Mum and said: ‘This is the right place to be. I feel really safe.’ And that’s all we could ask for.
“It allowed us to become a family again and not be ‘patient’ and ‘carers’. The nurses took care of everything, and we just enjoyed time as a family. You can’t ask for anything more from anyone or anywhere I don’t think.
“It’s a very special place, and it always will be to me.”