30 Oct 2023 Community
The Kirkwood surprise John with a special gift from Arsenal Football Club
The Kirkwood will always try to find the light at the end of any tunnel no matter how small the gesture is. We want to bring hope, delight and joy to our patients' faces and thoughts even when they are going through a traumatic time.
One such patient we have recently brought joy to is 67 year old John Allen. John is a huge Arsenal football fan and loves to hear about how well the club is doing. So when our amazing ITOK nurse up at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary Jayde Crowther heard about John she wanted to bring him some happiness. Jayde works with John's daughter Nicola who is also a nurse at the hospital. Jayde works for The Kirkwood but is based at the hospital and is a vital connection between us as a charity and the hospital itself.
Whilst working alongside Jayde, Nicola explained the difficulties her dad was facing having been diagnosed with cancer in 2022. The two nurses put their heads together to create a special memory for John.
On this surprise, Nicola said: "So I know Jayde from working as a nurse at the HRI. She came up to the hospital from The Kirkwood. At that time it was when my dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer, and we'd never had to deal with that before or been in that situation as a family.
"Jayde was a big help and comfort for me and it helped me that she was working next door. I truly think she is an amazing person as is the whole The Kirkwood team.
"My dad is a huge Arsenal fan and we wanted to take him to an Arsenal match, however we kind of missed that window of opportunity with him being so ill. So one day myself and Jayde were chatting and we were discussing things that would mean a lot to him in the time he has left.
"We wrote to Arsenal FC to see how they could help. The club sent him a brilliantly written letter by the manager, and a signed pennant by the entire team which was fantastic."
The Kirkwood has helped care for John since his diagnosis and Nicola believes we are a vital charity to have in the Kirklees area.
She commented: "My dad needed to access care from The Kirkwood as he had a bleed. So we asked the staff to treat him.
"I always knew what The Kirkwood did. I've been trying to promote the hospice to my dad because I think a lot of people think when you mention The Kirkwood they think of death. The Kirkwood offer a lot of services to help people whether that is in the In-Patient Unit or out in the community.
"He got a diagnosis of cancer in early 2022 and he went through months of intense radiotherapy in Leeds. That gave him a good outcome but unfortunately it was only for a few months and then the cancer returned in his tongue.
"So at the moment he's feeding through NG and he can't talk to us anymore. So that's why getting a letter and pennant from Arsenal has brought him so much joy.
"Unfortunately he is deteriorating. He still has a sense of humor but yes he is struggling now.
"It is just great to know that The Kirkwood is there for us as a family. Jayde is an amazing person and I'm very glad to have met her. She has gone over and above and helped to sort out the letter and pennant which she didn't have to do. That just shows the Fantastic ethos, and kindness that The Kirkwood staff have."
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