Anthony’s story

“That’s the real difference with St Giles. If they can, they will do their utmost to make your wishes come true.”

Anthony Shepherd, 49, from Cannock, has been supporting St Giles ever since his mum received end-of-life care at the Whittington hospice.

When his mum Carol was diagnosed with a rare cancer, the whole family was devastated. But the care Carol received before she died in November 2018 was, in Anthony’s words, “phenomenal”.

After Carol received the news that her cancer was untreatable, a clinical nurse specialist from St Giles visited her family to tell them more about hospice care and to help Carol manage her medication so she could get her pain under control.

Anthony Shepherd with his mum, Carol

Anthony said: “The service and dedication of the whole team, from the doctors and nurses, to the volunteers and cleaning staff, was absolutely amazing. The work the team did from start to finish was phenomenal.

“We were devastated by the diagnosis, but thanks to the support we received from St Giles, this awful situation was made much more bearable.

“Planning end of life care with a hospice is a scary thing for a family because you know your loved one will pass away, but knowing that you have the support of everyone at St Giles makes you feel so much better.”

Anthony Shepherd with his dog, Lola, wearing a St Giles jumper

Anthony, a builder, gave up his job for 12 months to look after Carol with the support of his brothers Andrew, Paul and Lee.

He added: “I was very anxious when mum first went into the hospice because I have a little dog called Lola and I was worried about leaving her on her own. I thought I’d have to organise people to look after her when I visited St Giles, which would be awkward.

“But St Giles just said ‘why don’t you bring her in with you?’ which was absolutely amazing and really took off the pressure. You wouldn’t be allowed to do that anywhere else!

“It was lovely because Lola was allowed up on mum’s bed and they would lie there together, which mum loved. It was like bringing our home into the hospice.”

When Carol became quite poorly she expressed her wish to go home for one last night so that she could sleep in her own bed.

Anthony added: “The whole team at St Giles came together to help and told us all about her medication to make sure we understood. We took her home and I made her a steak dinner and her daughter-in-law gave her a foot massage. We all had a lovely evening together.

“That’s the real difference with St Giles. If they can, they will do their utmost to make your wishes come true.

“There are no words to describe how we feel about the care mum received at St Giles. I genuinely feel that people need to support the hospice as much as they can, because fundraising is so critical to the service that they can provide to our community.

“Memorial events like Celebrate Lives Lived truly are something special. They give us the chance to remember our loved ones, while helping to raise vital funds too. My family and I will always find the time to give thanks to St Giles through fundraising.”

By supporting Celebrate Lives Lived, you are helping us to continue to be there for local people like Anthony, Carol and their family, when they need us.

Your support matters. Thank you.