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Sarah's Pink Friends

1 team member

Challenge complete

Fundraising for this challenge has ended so we're no longer accepting donations. Thanks to everyone who supported this challenge.

Total raised so far £0.00

Target £0.00

Total plus Gift Aid: £0.00

Raised offline: £0.00

Team story

[p]"Hi, thanks for visiting my page. Along with some special people I am taking part in the Sparkle Night Walk in memory of my darling wife Sarah who passed away at Ashgate Hospice, Chesterfield on 2nd September 2016. We are all wearing pink, as we did at Sarah's funeral, because it was her favourite colour. I am just so grateful to Ashgate for everything they did for Sarah and for me and want to do my bit to say thank you to them and help raise more vitally needed funds to enable them to continue their fantastic work. You can read Sarah's story below. Please give generously - thank you so much."[/p][p][i]If you would like to join 'Sarah's Pink Friends' and walk with Adrian at the Markovitz Sparkle Night Walk 2018, please get in touch with a member of the Fundraising Team at Ashgate Hospicecare on 01246 233404 or fundraising@ashgatehospicecare.org.uk. Let's get hundreds of pink friends walking for Sarah![/i][/p][p]"Sarah was admitted into hospital on 18th May 2016 after we had been to see her GP about loss of use in her right hand and slurred speech. Unfortunately following a number of tests and scans and a biopsy Sarah was subsequently diagnosed with a brain tumour.[/p][p]Due to the length of time she was in hospital in bed Sarah was unable to walk when she returned home on 17th June. We had a hospital bed, commode and other equipment delivered prior to Sarah’s discharge and a physiotherapist and occupational therapist from Chesterfield Royal Hospital brought her home and showed her how to walk with a quad stick.[/p][p]A referral had been made to Community Rehabilitation for occupational therapy and physiotherapy support at home and we expected this to be provided reasonably quickly. However, after a couple of weeks we hadn’t heard any more and I was anxious to get Sarah’s mobility improved and increase her independence at home and so I spoke to her GP about this who agreed to discuss the situation at a multi-disciplinary meeting at the end of that week.[/p][p]The following week I got a call from Emma a physiotherapist from Ashgate Hospice. She was very friendly and explained the hospice had been represented at the multi-disciplinary meeting and the doctor had asked if they could help. I also spoke to the Community Rehabilitation Team that week who were still unable to say what service they could provide or when they could start.[/p][p]Sarah and I were therefore delighted to receive an excellent service from Emma and Stephen, the physiotherapists from Ashgate and Sarah the Occupational Therapist. The three of them visited several times and tried Sarah with various walking aids before we settled upon a gutter frame. Unfortunately Sarah was just starting to do really well with this when she contracted urine and chest infections and was re-admitted to Chesterfield Royal on 24th July. Sarah had commenced chemotherapy during her time at home following an appointment with the oncologist at Sheffield and she therefore had to be put on some strong intravenous antibiotics.[/p][p]Whilst Sarah was at The Royal we had a few difficulties communicating with the doctors about her treatment and what was happening. We were then very glad to meet Amanda the Paliative Care Nurse from Ashgate based at the hospital. Amanda came to see Sarah and I regularly on the ward and obtained information for us about Sarah’s treatment and took up our concerns that she had been taken off the steroids prescribed by the consultant at The Royal hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield, resulting in these being reinstated.[/p][p]Sarah recovered from the infections and we started to have discussions at the hospital about her returning home again, but she was going to need more equipment and an increased carepackage. We also discussed her going to a community hospital but there were no places near to where we live and Sarah was getting increasingly distressed in hospital.[/p][p]Meanwhile, unfortunatley Sarah then contracted another chest infection and her general condition seemed to worsen. Amanda continued to assist us with negotiations at this time and suggested that Sarah could come as an in-patient at Ashgate for rehabilitation. Sarah and I thought this a brilliant idea as the hospice isn’t too far from our house and we had already met the rehabilitation staff who had visited us at home.[/p][p]Just before Sarah was transferred to Ashgate Hospice Care we attended an appointment with the oncologist at Western park Hospital in Sheffield on 8th August. The oncologist expressed concern about Sarah’s poor swallowing and aspiration when eating and the risk of further infection. She was therefore not prepared to prescribe another course of chemotherapy until they had discussed her at their team meeting on the Wednesday. Radiotherapy had also been ruled out because Sarah had this when she had her original brain tumour as a child and surgery also wasn’t possible because the tumour in the brain stem couldn’t be reached safely. Therefore we knew things were now not looking very good. They also did another MRI scan whilst we were there and said they would be in touch after the team meeting.[/p][p]Two days later a bed became available at Ashgate Hospice and Sarah was transferred immediately. We were greeted by friendly smiling faces as soon as we arrived and Sarah was admitted into a three-bedded bay and we were all offered a welcome cup of tea. Later a mnurse came to do the admission procedure and then Dr Nikki (yes everyone is on first name terms at Ashgate) spoke to us.[/p][p]We thought that was it for the day but later in the afternoon Dr Nikki and Dr Sarah came back and pulled the curtains round the bed. They had received the devastating news from Sheffield that the MRI scan had shown Sarah’s brain tumour was much more aggressive than thought and there was nothing more which could be done; Sarah only had a matter of weeks to live. Sarah and I then had to face the fact that Sarah was coming to ashgate to die and not to have rehab.[/p][p]What was impressive, however, was how the team then sprung into action. They immediately moved Sarah to a single room and informed me I was welcome to stay with her on a fold up bed next to her’s. I cannot over emphasise what this meant to us both. From that moment on Sarah was much calmer and only became anxious if I went home for a few hours and so I stayed with her virtually all the time and got friends to stay with her if I went out.[/p][p]Nothing was too much trouble for the Ashgate staff and, for example, they spent a long time making sure Sarah was comfortable and would come back as many times as needed to reposition her. This was made all the more difficult because Sarah couldn’t speak and so the nurses and I had to try and work out what she wanted between us, but we usually got there in the end.[/p][p]Despite the fact that she was no longer able to speak by then, the three-and-a-half weeks Sarah and I spent together at Ashgate Hospice were very special. The first weekend we were there I asked Sarah about her wishes for the funeral and she was just about able to whisper the outline of the names of the hymns she wanted sung and the songs she wanted playing and some of her other wishes for the funeral.[/p][p]I also asked Sarah if she’d like the hospice chaplain to bless our marriage and she was very enthusiastic about this idea so I requested to see the chaplain and Paul came to see us on the Monday. Paul discussed what we wanted in the service and got us to choose some music from some CDs we had with us. He recognised that we needed to have the service as soon as possible and offered to do it the same day. Paul did a lovely little service for us in the little round chapel and, afterwards, to our surprise, the chef had made us a little cake, well actually a little round one for me with a delicious strawberry and cream topping and a sort of puree of the topping for sarah as she couldn’t eat anything too solid by then. It was such a lovely thought and the day meant so much to both of us.[/p][p]On another day that week I was very tired as I had a sleepless night worrying about Sarah and her illness. One of the healthcare assistants, Elaine, came and offered to cut Sarah’s hair as it needed doing and she did a very professional job of it. Before she started on sarah’s hair though Elaine told me I looked tired and made me comfortable in the recliner and put a blanket over me and gave me a cup of coffee.[/p][p]When she could no longer talk at all Sarah was able to squeeze my hand with her left hand and when she could no longer do that she could nod and shake her head. As we are both visually impaired I had to put my hand on her head to feel it move. It was only the last few days when all she could do was move her eyes up and down or side to side and then I had to have someone with me to know what she wanted.[/p][p]Whilst it was a terribly sad time it was also a special and beautiful time we had together as well. Even though Sarah could no longer speak and communication was very limited we left each other in no doubt about just how much we loved each other.[/p][p]I was able to share with Sarah precious memories and tell her how much she meant to me and of all the little things I would miss about her. We brought in the wedding album and my sister described all the pictures to us again and I also brought in a recording of the wedding itself. All Sarah’s close friends and colleagues got to visit and share more memories with us. The whole situation brought me closer to four of Sarah’s friends and her friend Alison spent some time alone with sarah and wrote down some special things Sarah wanted to say to me which meant a lot.[/p][p]Sarah passed away at 10:30 pm on Friday, 2nd September with me at her side. What was so lovely was that, despite the communication problems, I really felt we had been able to say goodbye and leave each other in no doubt of just how much we loved one another. I cannot thank Ashgate Hospice enough for the care and support they showed to both Sarah and me during her last three weeks. I am also so grateful for the love and support I’ve received from family and friends." [/p]
Sarah's Pink Friends image 1
Sarah's Pink Friends image 2
Sarah's Pink Friends image 3

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Event

Sparkle Night Walk

Sparkle Night Walk

07 Jul 2018

Supporters

14-Jul-2018

Alison

Well done Adrian. Keep up the good work. Sarah would be proud of you!! By the way it's a beautiful photograph of Sarah on your fundraising page.

£15.00

09-Jul-2018

Anonymous

Adrian, will collect you on Saturday21st July for Blind Walk at Bakewell, time 10am, regards your 1st class chauffeur Reg.

£10.00

08-Jul-2018

Liz Silver

Hi Adrian, I wanted to support your walk and the work done by the hospice.

£20.00 plus £5.00 Gift Aid

08-Jul-2018

Vic and Ray and the children

Well done Ade! Hope it was a great night. Loving memories of our Sarah, I am sure she is very proud of you. Rest in peace Sarah xxxxx

£30.00 plus £7.50 Gift Aid

07-Jul-2018

AJH

Better half stayed a week in Ashgate before returning home to die ,very grateful for their support.

£10.00 plus £2.50 Gift Aid

07-Jul-2018

Neana Lawson

£20.00

07-Jul-2018

Ursula

Xxx

£10.00

05-Jul-2018

Amy Buxton

Hi Adrian, A patient in the Day Hospice, Peter Stockton, has donated five pounds for your walk, so I'm going to match it! Hope you enjoy it on Saturday, I'll be looking out for you!

£10.00

04-Jul-2018

Sue Morgan

Sarah spent the last three weeks of her life in Ashgate. Whatever the size of our donations, big or small, the money will all go to help this incredible place continue their tremendous work.

£20.00 plus £5.00 Gift Aid

04-Jul-2018

Karen Seymour

Good luck, Adrian. This is a great cause! :)

£15.00

Adrian Picton

Adrian Picton