A GRATEFUL father has paid tribute to the hospice staff who made sure his daughter’s last days were full of love.
William Brown has praised everyone from the cleaning team to the on-call priests at the Hartlepool & District Hospice.
They all showed compassion for his daughter Sue Lewis who died aged 56 on February 25 this year from an inoperable brain tumour.
The mother-of-four, who worked as a civil servant, passed away after only days at the in-patient unit of the Wells Avenue-based Hospice - and only three months after taking ill.
Father-of-two Mr Brown, from the High Grange area of Billingham, said: “Although we were total strangers to the staff at the Hospice and we knew them for less than a week, I will never forget the dedication, care and support they gave her and us.”
He paid tribute to the team which cared for Sue for her last five days and said: “There were so modest. They do all that hard work for you but they don’t court publicity
Mr Brown said the on-call priests deserved special mention. “They attend day or night at a moment’s notice.
“They step into a room with only a prayer book in hand to a room of strangers - often very upset, angry, confused, fearful - and give spiritual support unwaveringly without hesitation,” he added.
He said the rest of the staff give service which is so tireless and of such a high standard, it puts the families of patients at ease.
Mr Brown, also a civil servant, spoke out to praise the Hospice after nominating each and every member of staff for a Local Hero nomination in the Pride of Hartlepool awards.
He was so grateful for their help that he and his family held a collection after the funeral and raised more than £700.
Hospice deputy chief executive Sandra Britten said: “We all know that the staff here do a fantastic job but to get that recognition took everyone by surprise.
“It is a team approach. A lot of our visitors just get to see the nurses looking after the patients and don’t get to see all the other services that go on.
“When we do get feedback, it is very touching and it makes a great difference.”
This year’s Pride of Hartlepool competition which has attracted some fantastic entrants. There is still time for more people to come forward.
Ten categories up for grabs are Sporting Achievement; Community Group; Community Champion; Student of the Year; Fundraiser of the Year; Child of Courage; Local Hero; Green Champion; Emergency Services and Young Performer of the Year.
We are calling on our readers to nominate that special person or people who have done something that you believe deserves recognition.
It could be anyone from 999 heroes to community champions – help us celebrate those who have done their town proud.
You have until Tuesday, April 1 to put in an entry. After that, we will begin the tough process of trying to choose a winner.
People can enter via the nomination form on this page in the Hartlepool Mail today, or by visiting our website at www.hartlepool.mail.co.uk and filling in the online entry form.