Lisa’s mum Maureen was cared for on Martlets’ inpatient unit in 2015. Lisa tells us about the support their family received and why she continues to contribute to Martlets’ regular giving scheme.
“Mum had an aggressive form of skin cancer and her health deteriorated quite quickly. She was admitted to Martlets and spent the last 10 days of her life on the inpatient unit. Although she worried about leaving her home, it was the best decision we could have made as Martlets provided amazing care. They saw to all her medical needs and kept her comfortable, but also paid attention to the little things that made her happy in her last days.
For the first week, Mum was quite lucid and enjoyed having a glass of Rose and chatting with the nurses. And she absolutely loved the food from the canteen. It’s the small things that stick in your mind; I remember how much Mum loved looking out of the window at Martlets at the birds on the bird feeder. She loved her garden at home, and my brother was able to push her in a wheelchair around Martlets’ gardens. I also recall her being given a luxurious bath by one of the healthcare assistants with lovely, scented oils. She really appreciated that, and the staff all radiated such warmth and kindness.
Martlets didn’t just care for Mum; they cared for all of us. We felt welcomed and supported as soon as we walked through the door. The children loved being greeted by the sparkly Snowdogs in the foyer – and Misty the Martlets cat.
My children were eight and five at the time and visiting Nanny in a hospice could have been a difficult experience. But the instant they walked in and saw the colourful Snowdog sculptures from the art trail they felt at ease. I still remember the name of the Martlets cat, Misty, which just shows what an impression all those small things made.
The children wanted to write messages for Mum on the nurses’ whiteboard on the wall and the nursing team let them scribble away, doing what made them happy. Rather than seeing Martlets as a sad and upsetting place where their Nanny was dying, they were happy to go and spend time there. That was a lovely thing. Martlets never felt like a hospital. It always felt relaxed and comfortable, more like a home from home. My brother stayed over in Mum’s room and remembers having a wonderful breakfast the next morning from the canteen. Things like that just made a difficult time a lot easier.
My husband has run Brighton Marathon to raise money for Martlets, and I pay into their regular giving scheme monthly. I don’t know how we would have got through the situation with Mum without their help and it’s our way of giving back.
For our family, Martlets will always have a special place in our hearts. Everyone there works so hard, and as a charity they rely on the local community for support and funding. We donated a lot of Mum’s furniture to be sold in Martlets’ shops; their van came and picked it all up and it’s good to know it went to a good cause. Continuing to pay them a regular amount each month is my way of saying thank you for all they did for us and continue to do for other families.”
For more information about Martlets’ regular giving scheme, and other ways to donate, please visit our Ways to Donate webpage. Regular giving provides a reliable income stream for Martlets and helps us plan ahead. Donating any amount, small or large, will help Martlets to keep on caring.