Today I read the story of Terry Garnett and his touching campaign in memory of his late wife Beverley – Terry agreed that I can share his story.
Sadly, Beverley was taken way too soon by pancreatic cancer. What Terry has achieved in Beverley’s memory is a lovely legacy which will provide an enhanced patient experience at the hospital where Beverley received her treatment.
When patients are hospitalised, in addition to the obvious worries around their health, they can often feel isolated from those who matter to them the most as it just isn’t practical for loved ones to always be at the hospital. Whilst receiving treatment, Beverley found it difficult to keep in touch with loved ones because of a poor mobile ‘phone reception and data signals. I know from my own experience, how disconnected I feel on a normal day if I inadvertently leave my ‘phone at home so I can only imagine how Beverley must have felt having the comfort of being able to connect with loved ones denied to her at a time when she probably needed it the most.
How wonderful is it that despite dealing with the worst situation, Beverley could think of others – her dying wish was that future patients wouldn’t be in the position that she was in. Beverley wanted patients to be able to keep in touch with their family and friends. Shortly after Beverley’s passing, Terry set about making Beverley’s wish a reality – he recognised how much of a lifeline it was for patients to have the ability to keep in touch and knew the added comfort this would bring to all involved – not only the patients but the family and friends of the patients too.
Terry said that many times when he was visiting he noticed other patients having to move to a communal area in order to get a signal and they would often have to have personal and moving telephone conversations in the communal area just because that was the only place a signal could be obtained.
Now, thanks to an amazing fundraising effort, Terry and his supporters have raised over £10k which has resulted in the plan to install wi-fi at the Queen’s Centre for Oncology and Haematology in Cottingham being brought forward. Originally it was thought that the Trust would not be able to offer this facility to patients until 2018 but thanks to Terry’s efforts it is now scheduled to be available from October 2017.
People do wonderful things in memory of their loved ones. It would have been easy for Terry to just walk away after losing Beverley but, instead, he campaigned to change things. It’s encouraging to see that the Trust understood the importance of Terry’s campaign and agreed to make things happen sooner than originally planned – it’s great to see that they have been receptive to working with Terry to bring the wi-fi implementation date forward!
That decision by Terry to take action and create a legacy in Beverley’s memory means that many patients will not be in the position Beverley was in and whilst the Trust were always going to install wi-fi at some point, Terry’s actions mean that soon, no other patients will be denied the chance to stay connected with their loved ones.
Well done Terry and friends – I’m sure your efforts will really make a difference to the lives of many, many patients.
You can read the full write up here