A Staffordshire woman says her late dad is watching over her from above after she won £1,000 in the St Giles Hospice Lottery.
Ann-marie Warren, from Stafford, joined the popular local lottery in March 2018 to pay tribute to St Giles for the care her father Neil received before his death from bowel cancer in November 2017, aged 64.
By taking part she was continuing a family tradition as her dad had signed up to play in 2014 as a way of saying thanks when he first began receiving support from the hospice team.
Ann-marie, who has a two-year-old daughter and works as an imaging assistant at Stafford County Hospital, said that being told she had won the weekly draw on Friday 10th August was a wonderful surprise and that she would use her winnings to decorate her house, as well as buying some flowers for her dad’s grave.
She said: “I was absolutely stunned when I found out I had won £1,000 on the hospice lottery as I’m one of those people who never wins anything. It came out of the blue but I just thought: ‘Aw, thanks dad!’ as it really felt like he had wanted me to win and I had originally joined the lottery because of him.
“He started doing the lottery out of gratitude for the kindness and care he received and after he passed away I wanted to do the same. It’s only £1 a week but I know that it all adds up to make a huge difference.”
St Giles helped Neil with pain management while he was living with cancer, which later spread to other tissues in his body. He spent his final days as an inpatient in the hospice when his condition became too advanced for him to continue living at home.
Ann-marie added: “Dad received amazing care from the team at St Giles and he was always telling me how lovely they were. Everyone was so nice and attentive – it was really personalised care and a much better environment to be in than a hospital at the end of your life.
“We were very happy knowing that he was being looked after so well and towards the end they even let his dogs move in and he was delighted to be back with ‘his girls’. He had a peaceful and dignified end and the team kept an eye on my mum afterwards to make sure that she would be all right.”
Alison Jerram, St Giles Hospice lottery manager, said: “Congratulations to Ann-marie for winning the lottery and a big thank you to everybody who plays the lottery every week.
“Since it started, our lottery has raised over £17 million and it funds the care of one in nine of our patients in the local community – we couldn’t do what we do without the support of our local community, including our lottery players like Ann-marie.”