Staff and patients at St Richard’s Hospice have pulled together to create a very special multi-sensory quilt to help a family cope with their bereavement.
Matthew Picton, who lived with a mitochondrial disorder that left him with learning and other disabilities, but died from stomach cancer, was cared for at the end of his life by the hospice’s community nurse Wendy Webb at his Evesham residential care home provided by Home Farm Trust, a national charity supporting people with learning disabilities, which he shared with his sister Jo who also lives with the mitochondrial condition.
Matthew’s parents, Sue and John Picton, and sister Jo visited the hospice this week where they were presented with the quilt which had been created by a team of crafty hospice staff and Day Hospice patients.
The special quilt features a collection of designs inspired by the Picton’s family stories and Matthew’s favourite things. As Jo has lost her sight over recent years, the quilt offers many multi-sensory features so that she can also enjoy the memories of her brother. Holiday memories inspired camper van, fish and chips, and roadmap designs, while crocodiles and snakes represented his fascination for all things reptile. A particularly life-like knitted doll of Matthew, who loved music, can be modelled to sit with miniature replicas of the banjo and keyboard his Dad and others played for him, that are in the pockets.
Sue said; “We were overwhelmed by the wonderful care Matthew and ourselves received from St Richard’s. Our community nurse, Wendy, was a fantastic support helping us with Matthew’s physical symptoms, training the home’s staff to care for his medical needs and providing emotional support for us all.
“Thanks to the care he received from the hospice, Matthew was able to spend his last days in his home surrounded by his family, friends he shared the home with and his care team at Home Farm Trust. The medical advice Wendy was able to provide meant that his death was as calm and painless as possible, and words cannot describe what this meant to us. She empowered us to be able to do the right thing and to make decisions that were the best for Matthew.
“We all miss Matthew every day, Jo particularly as they have spent their whole lives together, but this quilt will help us to remember the good times and when things get tough will help raise a smile.”
Photo, front row (L:R): John, Jo and Sue Picton. Back row: Sarah Popplestone-Helm, Head of Family Support, Emily, support worker in Jo’s home, and Mary Jenkins, Creative Therapist