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9 Aug 2019 Community

“It’s not just about what Kirkwood do at the Hospice”

Shirley Baxter, aged 54 from Marsden, was cared for on Kirkwood’s In Patient Unit in September 2017. Since then, her son, Nicki-Joe Baxter, and family have pledged to do all they can to support Kirkwood.

Nicki-Joe Baxter was delighted to receive a Baby Casting experience from Footprints in Time for Christmas after his dad purchased the family gift from Kirkwood’s Gift of Giving campaign last November.

Nicki-Joe and his family are passionate about supporting Kirkwood after witnessing first hand the care it provides when supporting his mum, Shirley Baxter, at the end of her life.

Nicki-Joe and his family have always been aware of Kirkwood but never really knew about the services it provides, until Shirley’s local nurse advised for Shirley to be admitted to Kirkwood to enable their family to spend quality time together during her final weeks.

Nicki-Joe said: “Mum started feeling disorientated and agitated. At first, she was hesitant to come to Kirkwood, but after we spoke to her about it we reassured that it was okay.”

“As soon as Mum went to Kirkwood she felt at ease. She still had her independence; she loved to look around the little shop.”

As a family, this really helped Nicki-Joe, his Dad, Nigel, and Brother, Lee, to spend quality time together knowing that Shirley was safe.

Nicki-Joe said: “I stayed overnight and the staff were brilliant. They even brought breakfast to us the following morning.”

 Nicki-Joe (right) with his Brother, Lee, Dad Nigel and Mum, Shirley.

 

“Mum loved her gardening. We used to visit the Garden Centre once a week before coming to Kirkwood and during her time on the In-Patient Unit we were able to take her around the gardens once a day. The gardens are beautiful.”

“It’s not just about what Kirkwood do at the Hospice. For me, it’s more about what they’ve done for my Dad. He struggled with his Mental Health after my mum died, but he attended the Bereavement Drop-in sessions for one year and although he was reluctant to go at first, he’s said it makes him feel lighter once he’s been.”

“It’s the hardest thing we’ve ever had to deal with as a family, but if it wasn’t for Kirkwood I don’t know where we’d be. They have helped us a lot.”

After the support Nicki-Joe and his family have received, they felt inspired to continue fundraising and raising awareness of Kirkwood in Shirley’s name.

“My Dad plays the lottery, and both my brother and I always buy raffle tickets. We have also just taken part in the Midnight Memory Walk and we even took my Mum’s dog, Ena, with us.”

“Dad saw the Gift of Giving online auction last November for Kirkwood and saw a Baby Casting which had been donated by ‘Footprints in Time”. He decided to bid on it knowing me and my partner were expecting in May 2019. After he won the gift, he gifted it to us as a Christmas present.

“We decided to redeem the keepsake when Eli was 7 weeks old.”  

  Eli's baby casting.

 

“Kirkwood is just an amazing place, we will always support Kirkwood.”

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