When Elizabeth Foster from Hartford was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer in August 2017, she decided not to undergo treatment but enjoy the time she had left with her family. She started attending Day Hospice and accessed many services over the following months, from reflexology to art sessions, to help her cope physically and emotionally with her condition. Sadly, Elizabeth passed away on our Inpatient Unit in October 2018, aged 74. Her daughter, Emma Gladding, describes her mum’s journey with St Luke’s…

“From the moment she began attending Day Hospice I could see a huge change in her. It was as if someone had wrapped their arms around her. Those sessions were a highlight of her week and really helped her come to terms with everything.

She loved attending the chapel service, having reflexology, seeing the lady with the dog, and watching the art sessions – I was thrilled when she decided to have a go. All of these things really lifted her spirits. She found the mindfulness sessions beneficial too, and I now practise them with my children. It is helping us to cope.

When my mum was admitted to the Inpatient ward, I felt both grateful and relieved because I knew she had begun to struggle at home. I realised her medical care would be excellent, but I was overwhelmed by the emotional care she received too, all the staff showed such warmth and humanity. I was truly humbled by it. They felt like extended family, taking the time to get to know her and love her and giving my mum the dignity she so deserved in her final weeks. How amazing that we will always remember her laughing and sipping a Bailey’s the day before she died.

Saying goodbye to her was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, but I know it would have been a whole lot harder without the support St Luke’s gave our family. I’ve sincerely never felt so grateful to anyone in my life. Thank you with all our hearts.”