Northern Ireland Hospice launches #heartforhospice Valentine’s Day video

10 February 2019

Belfast woman Seana recalls her sister’s special journey

Northern Ireland Hospice and TV personality Eamonn Holmes have launched an emotive Valentine’s Day video and are asking the public to support the charity and have a #heartforhospice this week.

In the video, Belfast school teacher Seana Gamble shares the heart-breaking, yet uplifting story of her sister Philomena Barr, who passed away at the age of just 31 with cervical cancer.

Eamonn Holmes describes the story as one of ‘love, and making every moment count’.

He added: “It’s impossible to put a value on this type of service. Together, we can make every moment count.”

Seana Gamble tells of her sister’s experience of Northern Ireland Hospice and how the charity helped Philomena make every moment count in her final weeks and days, including getting married, walking up the aisle as her sister’s bridesmaid and even having a Valentine’s Day dinner for two at with her husband John at Northern Ireland Hospice.

She said: “Philomena was told she didn’t have long to live and that she should live every day like it was her last. She took those words and she ran with that.

“It was only a few days before Valentine’s Day when Philomena had arrived (at Hospice). We had a dinner arranged in Belfast for her and her husband but we knew she wouldn’t make it. The nurses decorated her room that we called the ‘love hub’. It was those little things that made the biggest difference - making memories - something we thought we could never do.

“We can’t thank the Hospice enough". 

It costs £40,000 a day to run Northern Ireland Hospice, delivering palliative care to adults and children at Hospice, and in the community across Northern Ireland.

Heather Weir, Northern Ireland Hospice CEO said: “Each and every day at Hospice, our staff and volunteers are dedicated to providing specialist care services to local children and adults who have been diagnosed with a life limiting or terminal condition. We focus on delivering excellent clinical care, together with looking after the wider needs of patients and their families.   

“Seana has bravely shared her sister Philomena’s story in support of Northern Ireland Hospice. We would encourage everyone to get behind the campaign, spreading this beautiful video far and wide. Without the continued support of local people such as Seana and all those who support Hospice, we simply would not exist. We remain thankful for that support and hope that through Philomena’s story, the real heart of Hospice is demonstrated.”

To help us continue to care for local people like Philomena when they need it most, please donate today at