Sue’s Story

How superstar fundraiser Sue’s experience with community care at the end of her mother Joyce’s life inspired her to raise money for St Joseph’s Hospice – as featured in Life Magazine Issue 42.

Sue And Joyce

Meet Rev Dr. Sue – she’s a familiar face for many in East Ham as the Team Rector in the Parish, and here at the Hospice as one of our superstar fundraisers. We first met Sue when our Community Team cared for her Mum, Joyce, in late 2022. Joyce had moved down from her home in Scotland to live with Sue and her family in East London after her health declined through the pandemic. 

“My mother had congestive heart failure for the past decade, and after we returned from Scotland, her heart failure deteriorated rapidly. After several hospitalisations, she got tired of going to the hospital. We talked with her GP about what care we could give her at home, and they recommended that we contact the Hospice.

Our first experience with St Joseph’s Hospice was with one of the doctors. They helped her to change her meds slightly, and with the support of the nurses, she got oxygen at home, which gave her another five months of ‘within-limits good life’.

The physio team helped us to work out a way for her to get to the bathroom so that we could wash her hair, and we even had a hairdresser come in so that she could have her hair blow-dried. They helped her to keep herself as herself.”

 Sue And Joyce

Sue and Joyce

Between Sue and the care team, they had planned some respite care for Joyce to come and stay at the Hospice for a short time; however, she died a month before this happened.

“She was very aware at 96 that her earthly journey was ending. She was clear that she would do whatever would make her life better, but at some point, it would end. What was absolutely beautiful was that it was only the last weeks or so of her life that it was about dying. Before that, although she was dying, it was all about living well.

The care at St Joseph’s was amazing because it was 24 hours. There’s a helpline where you can talk to nurses, and in the final days of someone’s life, when you are not quite sure what the best thing is or have a question, the nurses are there to help you.”

“Community care was the gift that meant the world to us. We couldn’t have looked after Mum at home without the Hospice. It was a ring of support around us.

As 2023 began, Sue chose to begin fundraising for the Hospice between her busy schedule at the church by doing what she enjoys most.

“Running is my sport; I love running. When I was looking after my Mum in Scotland, I ran daily. It’s what kept me going.

I wanted to give something back to the Hospice for everything it did for me and my Mum.”

Sue Royal ParksSue running her second half marathon of 2023 for St Joseph’s Hospice, the Royal Parks Half. 

Sue has now completed Hackney Half and the Royal Parks Half, raising almost £2,500. Her incredible fundraising efforts mean we can continue supporting people like Joyce with our compassionate care in the community and here at the Hospice.

Inspired by Sue’s amazing achievements? Choose your 2024 challenge below:

Read the rest of Life Magazine – Issue 42 – Winter 2024.

  • St Michael’s Ward Refurbishment, our next Nurses Recruitment evening and more Hospice news
  • The London Hospice Gardens Competition, as told by our Seasonal Gardener, Darren
  • Stories from St Joseph’s – patient Tina’s legacy of joy, faith and love, an extraordinary gift of compassionate care from a stranger to the Hospice, Doris, and how superstar fundraiser Sue’s experience with community care at the end of her mother’s life inspired her to raise money
  • Meet our fantastic cover stars, our Day Hospice ambulance drivers Ray and Pat, for a Day in the Life

    Plus, you’ll read about our amazing partnership with Sky, Compassionate Neighbours volunteer Daiva, updates from our Five Sisters Charity Shops and much more!

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