Day therapy boosts spirits at St Catherine’s Hospice

Irene Eccles, hospice worker Bernadette Baxter, and Irene's niece Sylvia Ghorbani

Irene Eccles, hospice worker Bernadette Baxter, and Irene's niece Sylvia Ghorbani

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A joke and a laugh is some of the best medicine for St Catherine’s patient Irene Eccles – and she enjoys both during her weekly visits to day therapy at the hospice.

Irene, who has pancreatic cancer, loves chatting with others, enjoying a meal and getting her hair done, which is all part of the service at the Lostock Hall charity.

“Now I try and tell other people what it’s really like, so that they don’t have to be worried if they ever need the help of St Catherine’s.”

St Catherine’s patient Irene Eccles

Irene, who wanted to share her experiences of the care she receives as part of the 30th anniversary Give A Gift campaign with the Lancashire Evening Post, said: “It was a shock when I was given the news about the diagnosis, and then when the word ‘hospice’ was mentioned I switched off.

“I didn’t want to come. I thought it meant that was it, I thought it meant death.

“I agreed to try day therapy but I was anxious about coming – I didn’t know anyone and I didn’t know what to expect.

“But now I love it! We have a laugh and a joke, play some games, they even got a cake for my birthday.

“The doctors and nurses are there to talk to about anything which is troubling you, and there’s other things like arts and crafts and complementary therapies to try if you want to.

“Now I try and tell other people what it’s really like, so that they don’t have to be worried if they ever need the help of St Catherine’s.”

Irene, aged 89 and from Clayton-le-Woods, also praised the care she is now receiving on the in-patient unit, and is getting behind the Give A Gift campaign – a list of 30 different things St Catherine’s is trying to achieve in 2015.

Amongst the items left on the list are items of medical equipment for the in-patient unit – including lock boxes which protect syringe drivers, a nebuliser and a special pump to regulate fluids and bloods – as well as an in-patient unit refurbishment project, which the hospice hopes local businesses might be inspired to help with by providing services ‘in kind’.

The windows in the conservatory need replacing, and corridors along the unit could do with re-painting and re-carpeting.

To view the full Give A Gift list, visit www.stcatherines.co.uk, and to get involved as a business or individual, email giveagift@stcatherines.co.uk or call 01772 695290.