Hospicecare gives Bev happy Christmas

PUBLISHED: 13:00 27 December 2012

Beverly Pengelly at Weston Hospicecare.

Beverly Pengelly at Weston Hospicecare.

Archant

FOR thousands of people across North Somerset and Somerset, Christmas Day was a good excuse to gather at home and enjoy a roast dinner, a few glasses of something and an evening of television and board games with the rest of the family.

But for some people, that is not an option.

For people like Bev Pengelly, deprived of Christmas at home by their battle against cancer, Weston Hospicecare offers more than just care.

The 56-year-old has been at the hospice in Thornbury Road for the past 10 weeks, but rather than have her miss out on a festive meal staff arranged for her to have a family meal on Christmas Day.

Bev, from Cheddar Fields in Cheddar, was first diagnosed with breast cancer 10 years ago, and despite treatment which she says was ‘partially successful’, she has now developed cancer on her spine and lung.

She says the illness is ‘incurable’, but is in little doubt that but for staff at the hospice Christmas and the past few months would have been a far more uncomfortable prospect.

She says: “It’s 24-hour here, the staff work so hard. It’s not just looking after us, it’s everything from putting together meals to dealing with patients – it’s amazing. I think the staff are incredible.

“In this sort of job you need to be a bit resilient, kind and understanding to be able to deal with patients, it must be so hard to be able to do the kind of work they do.”

With Bev unable to leave the hospice this Christmas, the big day saw husband Carl and daughter Laura join her at the hospice for a meal with all of the trimmings.

She continues: “It’s brilliant – you wouldn’t be able to get this in hospital, would you?

“I was a bit upset when I thought I wouldn’t be able to be at home with the family, but this has made it better.

“But this is all part of it when you stay here – they work very hard and nothing is a problem for them to sort out.”

Weston Hospicecare’s Sarah Bostock adds: “Christmas time can be particularly difficult and the hospice is a safe haven and source of comfort to those who are staying with us.

“We can help by easing the pressure on those who are caring for a loved one, so families can simply enjoy their time together, which is so important to everyone on their journey here with us.

“We open our doors to the whole family, (even the pets) so that families can bring Christmas to their loved one, safe in the knowledge that they are comfortable, relaxed and receiving excellent care.”

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