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Alix's Story

Alix was a much-loved wife, daughter, mother, family member and friend, who sadly passed away at the Hospice on 11 August 2021.

Well-known in the local community, Alix was head of swimming at St Piran’s school in Gringer Hill for over 15 years. She was described as a ‘fearless’ teacher who bought ‘passion, energy and enthusiasm’ to the sport. A beautiful Forget-me-not Tribute page has been dedicated by Alix’s family, to celebrate her life and raise money for Thames Hospice.

Alix’s husband Andy wanted to tell you her story.
Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019

"It all started in 2020 when my wife Alix was on a visit at Newcastle University with our youngest Charlotte. It should have been a fun and exciting day, but Alix had a seizure. She was so fit and healthy, as a swimming teacher, that it came as such a shock when she was diagnosed with a brain tumour.

"From those early days we started receiving support from Thames Hospice. Alix had counselling with Jackie, helping her to cope with the emotions and challenges that this massive, incomprehensible diagnosis caused. She also received massages with the complementary therapist Michelle, helping her relax when she had so much to deal with.

"That year, Alix threw herself into living her life to the fullest. Even with the pandemic – we had time together as a couple, which we might not have done if we hadn’t had lockdowns. She kept running twice a week and raised just shy of £6,000 for the Hospice in their Santa Dash – she was so determined and loved fundraising for our community.

"This was a happy time for us while Alix’s condition was stable, but we knew it wouldn’t last, and when we discussed what would happen when her condition got worse, we both thought that care at home would be the best option. But Alix deteriorated very quickly, she was in a lot of pain and needed specialist care. We knew the Hospice was the best place for her to be. When we called, the Hospice was full, but the specialist nurse put Alix on a high priority and to my relief she was admitted the next day.

"The idea that we wouldn’t have been able to get that space in the Hospice for Alix, fills me with dread. The most frightening thing in the world as a carer is being alone to manage the pain, the nausea, the fitting and the medication.

"We hadn’t realised how hard it would be on both of us, or how much pain Alix would be in. Seeing someone you love like that is the hardest thing.

"When we came to the Inpatient Unit, one of the first nurses we saw made eye contact. She and Alix instantly recognised each other, even with all the PPE, it was the parent of one of Alix’s swimming students. They made an instant connection and it really put her at ease.

"The nursing team at the Hospice care for you as if you are their only patient, they genuinely care. They talked to Alix all the time, even when she was really sick and we thought she wasn’t conscious. When Anne or one of the team spoke to her she would open her eyes. They always took the time to talk as they were caring for her, it was never rushed.

"The sense of peace and tranquillity at the Hospice is so comforting at such a turbulent time. We were able to bring in our Westie Flo, and having a glass of wine from the drinks trolley helped the family relax as we spent time with Alix. The new Hospice is so homely, we stayed over to be with Alix as much as possible, she often felt more able to talk in the early hours of the morning and we wanted to be there for her when she really needed us. I felt at ease there, the endless supply of tea made it a home from home. We were able to wheel Alix’s bed outside into the sunshine, it was a really beautiful moment.

"The wind, the sun and the breeze and the smell of the flowers.

"We always felt that Alix was a person to the nursing team, not another patient.

"I know from Anne and her team that they need to fund more nursing care, the team are stretched, tired and have no time to recover from the pandemic, but they are dedicated to their patients. Please donate so every patient can get the most loving personal care and kindness like Alix did."

Gill, Alix’s mother, adds: “We are all so grateful for the care everyone has given to us as a family. It helped us all tremendously at the time and is still continuing to support us while we try to come to terms with our huge loss. You are doing a tremendous job and hopefully our contributions will go a small way to help you to support others in their tough times. Thank you to everyone involved with your work.”

To find out more about Forget-Me-Not Tributes and set up your own in memory of a loved one, please click the button below.

Make a difference

We rely on the generosity of our amazing community, whose support enables us to provide the best possible end-of-life care for local people. It costs £12 million every year to keep our Hospice running - through charitable support we need to raise over 50% of the funds required annually to provide our services free of charge, 365 days a year, to the people who need us most.

We’ve never needed you, our wonderful supporters, more than we need you today. Please donate what you can to help keep hospice care available for those in desperate need.

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Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019

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