Amanda’s husband Paul died in our adult In-Patient Unit, Somerton House, in 2019, leaving behind Amanda and their young son Joey. One year after Paul died, Amanda found the strength to support our Lights to Remember event at Christmas.

This is her story.

Amanda said: “When I look back on the life Paul led, I am thankful, and somewhat amazed at how much we did together, and how much he achieved in his career with the Royal Air Force and then as a Paramedic and a Firefighter when we came back home. For someone so young, he had an exceptional career and life.

“He was a family man, a sportsman, a career man and, importantly, a proud daddy. He was absolutely devoted to family life - his life
changed the moment our son Joey was born.

“Paul passed away at Somerton House, where for a six-week period we got to live together - just like the teenage sweethearts we used to be
– caring for one another, crying, laughing, and preparing for the journey ahead.
“Paul would have liked to have stayed at home for his final days, but it just wasn’t possible. The Hospice, however, made a home from home for us.”

She added: “The Hospice itself, and the doctors, nurses, housekeepers, volunteers, social workers - actually everyone there - were an extended family for us. Even when things were at their darkest, there was someone there to talk to or to lend a hand.

“At times it was hard, but it was also time that was so precious - I don’t think we could have got that time while caring for him at home.
We were able to talk about so many things, we planned for his funeral, and for Joey’s future.

“We got to grieve together, and that’s not something I would have thought possible. We shared some very special moments that will
stay with me forever.

“We didn’t want to leave one another, and we got to do that at Hospice. That would not have been possible anywhere else.”

Amanda and little Joey spent Christmas 2019 without Paul. It was an extremely difficult time for them. Together, they attended the Lights to
Remember event.

“It was an unbelievable experience for us. Being part of the Lights to Remember event last Christmas, was very important to us and I
am very happy and proud to have played a part in it. I know how special this event is for local people like my husband who received the best care and the utmost dignity and respect in his final days at Hospice.

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