Kyle's Story

Kyle's Story

My name is Kyle. I’m 19 and this is my hospice story. I have two younger brothers, Mitchell who is 17 and Mackenzie who is 12. We all love playing football. We knew about the Ayrshire Hospice as we often played matches at the Racecourse Road football pitches just along the road. We didn’t know then what an important part the hospice would play in our lives.

We miss our mum, Agnes, very much. She was a wonderful mum. She liked reading, going out for walks with us and taking us out for dinner on our birthdays! She also liked going out with her pals and having a good time. She was kind, caring and supportive to all her boys. She would spend most of her week nights taking each of us to our football training and then stand at the side of the pitch watching us play in our matches at the weekends. Football took up our week basically!

I remember the day when I got my apprenticeship. I phoned her to tell her the news from the train. When I got off the train mum was there and I could see she had been crying after she’d heard my good news. She was always supportive and so proud of us.

Mum found out she had cancer in February 2015 but she remained positive that she would get well again. But the cancer didn’t go away and she got sicker. She was in hospital in Glasgow. It was a really difficult time for me. I had to balance my work in Glasgow during the day and then get home to Ayr to pick up my brothers and get back up to Glasgow for visiting time to see my mum. Mitchell was about to sit his National 5 exams so it was a really hard time for him too. It was hard for Mackenzie too - he was only 11 at the time.

Mum was in really bad pain and struggled to walk. One of the nurses at the Beatson suggested to me that the Ayrshire Hospice could help my mum. So that was what happened. I joined my mum in the ambulance that brought her to the hospice on Racecourse Road – just along from the football pitches where she had so often stood cheering us on at our football matches.

Just like football, the hospice is an important part of many Ayrshire communities and helped over 1200 people from across Ayrshire last year. Please give what you can by clicking to donate here: Donate Here.

The welcome we received was wonderful. All the staff and nurses were really nice and couldn’t do enough for us. Mum was really, really ill. There wasn’t much that she could do. She needed lots of medication to keep her free from pain. She wasn’t able to communicate much with us but the nurses made sure that she was comfortable and had all the specialist care she needed. They encouraged us to visit mum as often as we liked. There were no restrictive visiting hours and the nurses would tell us to go and see our mum or be with our family – they really understood how much it meant to be together at this really hard time.

£50 typically pays for two hours of that specialist nursing care.

Mum was only in the hospice for five or six days before she died but the three of us were with her every day. The first thing I did each day would be to check up on mum to make sure she was ok. We would talk to her to make sure that she knew that her boys were with her. We tried to make sure she was aware of what was happening. Then I’d speak to someone from the care team and also the nurses. Other family members would visit mum too but we stayed with her and made sure that she knew we were there.

Sometimes we would stay overnight just so we could be close to mum. The family room had sofa beds that Mitchell, Mackenzie and I could use to sleep on. The room was a bit cramped with the three of us in it but we could be with mum twenty-four-seven which was all that mattered. The hospice team really made us feel at home. The only times we were away from our mum’s side was when we went to get something to eat or go out for a wee break.

£25 can help towards the cost of overnight family accommodation for one night.

I had thought that the hospice was only for elderly people – a bit like a care home. I now know that’s not the case. There are lots of young people receiving care from the hospice. We also know that the hospice supports the whole family and not just the patient. We were made so welcome and the support from the nurses was outstanding. Everyone was friendly and helpful. The hospice is a good place to be. My mum was only 41 when she died. I didn’t realise that it would be the everyday things like chatting to my mum about my apprenticeship or going for a walk together that I’d miss until she wasn’t there.

As I said, mum was only in the hospice for five or six days before she died but the care she received and the opportunities we had to be with her in those days was wonderful. The Ayrshire Hospice can’t continue to do this without ongoing financial support from their many supporters in the community, just like you and I.

I’d like to thank you for supporting the hospice in the past. I’d also like to ask you to keep giving. Your donation will help the hospice to keep providing the excellent quality of care that my mum, brothers and I received. You will help to make sure that more families, just like mine, can still benefit from the warm, supportive and very individual care that the hospice provides. If everyone was able to pitch in, there would be more people like my mum who could be helped. Please join me in supporting the Ayrshire Hospice and donate what you can today here:

Donate Here

Kyles Signature

PS Thank you for your support in the past. Over two thirds of the hospice’s funding comes from voluntary donations including gifts in Wills and every penny counts. Your donation will go a long way to help others like Mitchell, Mackenzie and I. Please accept my apologies if you are reading this letter at a difficult time for you or your family.

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