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Trish's Story

Trish Wellings kindly left a gift in her Will to Thames Hospice as a ‘thank you’ for the care she received. Trish’s long-standing friend, Celia, talks to us about Trish’s experience.

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

“Trish came to work for me as a deputy teacher in 1997. I’d had cancer and Trish was diagnosed with breast cancer and went through treatment. We had this kind of affinity and support and we became friends. We also holidayed together for all those years. We loved our Greek holidays. We always had very simple holidays, literally just reading, drinking ouzo and wine.

In Summer 22, we did our first holiday abroad again after lockdown. We were on a Greek island and when Trish got back, she developed a cough. She went off to get the cough checked and then she started complaining of pain. In October, Trish was diagnosed. The cancer was in her bones and lung and they said there was no treatment. It was purely palliative, it was very quick and emotionally Trish took it very hard; very badly.

Her friends Chris and Sue – Trish’s ex-partner – would come and stay with her in the week. I would go weekends. Her friend Poppy would sometimes go Thursdays, Fridays and basically it was a rota of that, with other friends popping in. Trish quite quickly got on to quite a lot of medication. She would write all the medication down, but she was very worried she wasn't getting it right and emotionally, she needed a lot of support.

Her first contact with the Hospice was with the with their Hospice at Home team. They were extraordinary. She had so much confidence in their ability to come in and change things.

Four of us had Christmas together but it was quite obvious that Trish’s pain was overriding. Post-Christmas, the palliative team said they needed to get her pain under control. Trish wanted to stay at home, but she agreed to go into the Hospice. She went in, and it changed her perception. She just relaxed into the care and settled into a routine. She had the most delightful room overlooking the lake, and we were able to bring her dog Millie in every day. What it also enabled was for people to come and visit. She was never on her own and she would take Millie for little walks outside. Trish had hot stone therapy and she was able to have a bath. I'd ring her every night on the way home from work and she’d tell me all the treatments she'd had. Then she said, “I've got to go because I have a Baileys waiting for me!” It brightened up her evenings and gave her a sense of normality.

The Hospice staff treated all of us with such respect. I thought it was extraordinary. I think that we all felt very held through the journey with Trish. One doctor said ‘You're here to be her friends. We're here to do the caring.’ We didn't have to wash her, help her, so it made us just go in and chat about being friends. That was a great comfort.

Trish would talk about people's kindness. She wanted to acknowledge that. I helped her write cards to people in her final days. She wanted to write to say particular things to people; to express her gratitude. She was determined to leave something in her Will to the Hospice. She was always going to leave a donation to a cancer charity, but she changed it by codicil. Trish had a really innate sense of valuing everything that the Hospice gave her and the kindness that she was shown.

What I would say is that leaving a gift in your Will, is leaving a gift not only to the Hospice, but to everybody who has the good fortune to be supported by it and the families. It’s enabling the Hospice to continue to do what it does profoundly well. I think the Hospice and the outreach team, the Community team, provide something incredibly powerful to support people at a very difficult time. They enhance people's lives as well as supporting their passing.”

Trish died peacefully on 15 April 2023 at Thames Hospice.

Each year, 1 in 4 of our Inpatient Unit beds is funded through gifts in Wills. They come from people like you, who value the compassionate care that only a Hospice like ours can give.

After you’ve remembered those closest to you, please consider leaving a gift in your Will. Even a gift of 1% to Thames Hospice will cost nothing today but will make a difference and help to ensure we can care for local families in the future.

Our team would love to help if you have any questions please call Alice Garratt on 01753 847308 or email or find our more on our gifts in Wills page.

Make a difference

Our services are free of charge to all those in our community who need vital hospice care but this is only made possible through the charitable support and generosity of our amazing community. We need to raise £38,363 each day to fund our services 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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