Kathy’s thanks for our care with Darren

May 2019


The cover of our spring 2018 edition featured patient Darren Taylor who, in his last days, was cared for by the team on our Inpatient Unit.

Darren’s mum, Kathy, who has been supported by our Bereavement Service over the last year, remembers the joy that her son brought to her during his all too short life.

“Darren was a character, a wonderful son, who left a positive impression on everyone who knew him,” remembers Kathy, a year after her son was admitted to Prospect Hospice. “When he was in the room that he was in at the hospice, he had a regular stream of visitors, and photos and things from throughout his life filled the room. He was so brave, and he kept incredibly positive and cheerful all the time when he was on the Inpatient Unit.”

Darren, Kathy’s son

Darren hadn’t wanted to come to Prospect Hospice though, and he looked to Kathy for some guidance on whether it was where he should be. “We came to see the hospice, and what we both found was somewhere that was lovely,” she recalls. “The staff were warm and friendly, the atmosphere was relaxed, and the doctors spoke honestly with him – there was no pretending now. He agreed to be admitted and we were so glad that he was. From the moment he was there, he changed. He was so comfortable and it felt as though there wasn’t anything that the team there wouldn’t do for him. It was such a relief. I was afraid that Darren would die in a panic and being at Prospect Hospice meant
that he didn’t. Everyone there was amazing.”

For many people, their experience of Prospect Hospice comes to a close when their loved one dies, but it doesn’t have to be this way for anyone. Since Darren died, Kathy has sought and received the help of our Bereavement Care team, and this has seen her return to Prospect Hospice on many occasions. “The support they have given me has been amazing and, now, a group of mums like me meet separately and provide support for one another,” she says. “We’ve become friends too!”

As many people find over the years, returning to Prospect Hospice after the loss of a loved one can be comforting, and this has certainly been the case for Kathy over the past year. “It certainly comforts me knowing that he was here when I come back,” she says. “I don’t want my memories of Darren to be lost, and Prospect Hospice was a big part of his life at the end. I can be myself at Prospect Hospice, and it doesn’t matter if I have a tear. People are kind and they understand what I am going through.”

This sense was reinforced when Kathy came to our Light Up a Life service in December. “It was amazing,” she says. “I didn’t know how it would be, but being among so many people, all there remembering their loved ones, was very special.”

Kathy has also helped Prospect Hospice to deliver more care in future by taking part in fundraising activities, and Darren’s former team-mates at Swindon Panthers (he was a keen ice hockey player) have arranged a match in his memory on 25 May this year. The Memorial Ice Hockey Match will start at 5.15pm at the Link Centre, Swindon. Donations on the door for entry and everyone is welcome to the Harvester for drinks and a BBQ after the match. The link to the donation page can be found here.

“Prospect Hospice was wonderful for Darren and has been there for me too since he died,” says Kathy. “He was so grateful for the care that he received and would thank everyone for all that they did for him. He was able to be himself while he was there, and he was so proud – and I was proud of him too. And for all that Prospect Hospice has done for me since then, I am grateful too.”

Find out more about our bereavement services by calling 01793 816135 or by searching ‘family support’ on our website.

Back to News