A woman whose uncle spent the last few months of his life in St John’s Hospice with terminal cancer has praised staff and volunteers there.
Lisa Preston, from Heysham, lost her uncle Patrick Terence O’Doherty, known fondly by many as doorman Terry Doc, in February this year, four years after he was first diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2010.
But when her uncle was offered a place at St John’s Hospice, Lisa says Terry Doc’s family say he was lucky.
Lisa said: “While the many treatments including chemotherapy and radiotherapy bought him time, ultimately the cancer spread and the treatment stopped working.
“My uncle was lucky enough to be offered a place at St John’s Hospice.
“You may think lucky is a strange word to use when talking about going in to a hospice but anyone that has been in St John’s will understand why I use that word.
“It really is the most wonderful, peaceful place.
“I cannot even begin to put in to words how wonderful the staff are, from the volunteers who give up their time for free to the nursing staff who make sure each and every patient is treated with care and dignity.
“Losing a loved one is one of the hardest things anyone has to deal with, especially to such a vile disease as cancer but having the support of the hospice was a godsend to my family.
“Knowing my beloved uncle was being cared for every hour and every day was a comfort to us and it certainly eased the guilt for me when I had to go to work and couldn’t be with him.
“My uncle sadly passed away on February 9 this year.
“Being in the hospice meant all his family could be with him and we were given the privacy to say our goodbyes and just be with him.
“Once again the staff were supportive and caring.
“Sadly it’s not the first time I have lost a loved one to cancer, having had a very dear friend pass away a few years ago, at such a very young age.”
“Having seen first hand just what a wonderful job they do and knowing they are fighting to keep their doors open, it has made me very determined to do everything I can to make sure every other family that needs their support has the opportunity to use their services and I and my family know what a difference they can and do make.
“My uncle was a big quiz fan, there is not much he didn’t know and he was a bit of a whizz when it came to quizzes so I thought it quite fitting to hold a charity quiz night in his memory with all proceeds going to St John’s Hospice.
“He was quite a character around Morecambe, having been a doorman for many years.
“I have been genuinely overwhelmed by people’s response and generosity, not just people that knew him and my family but by total strangers too.
“I even had a 79 year old man from Bournemouth who heard about my charity night through a work colleague, send me a cheque for the hospice.
“Thanks to local businesses and strangers alike I have an impressive raffle prize list, which includes a electronic tablet and a ghost hunting night to mention a few.
“I even have a trophy for the winning quiz team, I like to think my uncle would be quite pleased to have a trophy named after him!
“I’m hoping I can make as much money as possible for St John’s Hospice.
“It’s the least I can do to say thank you for allowing my uncle to die with dignity.”
The Terry Doc Charity Quiz Night Auction takes place this Thursday, May 1, 7.30pm at Smokey O’Connors, Morecambe Street, Morecambe.
It costs £20 per team of up to six and there will be a prize for the most creative team name.
All proceeds are for St John’s Hospice in Lancaster.
* To place a bid please contact Lisa Preston, tel: 07837 362593 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.