Home News Susan Swanson is set to Light up a Life this December in memory of Jake

12 Nov 2021 Personal Stories

Susan Swanson is set to Light up a Life this December in memory of Jake

This December, Susan is taking part in Light Up a Life for the very first time to celebrate her dear friend, Jake, who sadly died earlier in August. Having no previous experience of The Kirkwood, other than hearing glowing reviews on the grapevine, it wasn’t until Jake fell ill that Susan had the opportunity to form her own opinion, learning how The Kirkwood could help her friend.

Earlier this year, Jake Mangle died age 83, after being diagnosed with skin cancer. Well known by many in the local and surrounding areas, Jake had made quite a reputation for himself. Often referred to as marmite, his antics, and eccentric behaviours either baffling or delighting his onlookers (depending on how much you like marmite). However, to “his very best person” Susan Swanson he was the dearest of friends.

Following his diagnosis Jake had spent a few weeks in Saint James’s Hospital in Leeds, having previously declined the invitation to be admitted to The Kirkwood’s In-Patient Unit. His reasoning as quoted by Susan was that “he didn’t feel like it was the right time”. However, after a few weeks stint in the hospital, and with his health deteriorating rapidly, he made the decision and requested to be be admitted to The Kirkwood’s In-Patient Unit for his end of life care.

Susan said: “I’m so glad he died at The Kirkwood instead of in hospital. He couldn’t have visitors there. We’re all from Huddersfield, and his friends and I found it very difficult to try get to see him there.

“The clinical team were so friendly, helpful and warm, they’d ask me if I wanted a cup of tea whilst I sat with Jake, looking after me as well as him. What a lovely, beautiful place it is to be, it was such a shame Jake was too poorly to see his fantastic room and the smiles of the nurses and everyone that came to see him.”

This year, our Light up a Life events take place on Saturday 4th December and Sunday 5th December, in The Kirkwood Gardens. The event will also be live streamed on the Sunday for those who wish to take part in the privacy of their own home. There will also be an opportunity to attend a Light up a Life event at Longcauseway Church, Dewsbury on the Saturday 11th December at 12pm.

Susan will be attending this year’s event with friends after receiving an invitation leaflet in the post. She is particularly fond of the symbolism of a physical light representing a loved one. Susan said: “Obviously Jake is with me all the time and in my thoughts, but this is something physical we can do, to go somewhere with other people in similar situations and share in a special moment together.

“I will be coming to the evening event; I want to feel the light shining in the darkness.”

I think we can all agree there was nothing dull about Jake. He will be shining his brightest for all his loved ones to see, including his very best person.

To remember someone special this December, make a dedication at: http://thekirkwood.org.uk/lightupalife

Need clinical advice?
Call our advice line on:

01484 557910

24 hrs a day