22nd July 2016

‘The magic of St Richard’s’

Jacky Smith is 49 and living with MND. Ellie is her beloved cat who recently visited Jacky in the hospice In-patient Unit. Jacky writes about her hospice care.

Jacky with Ellie, her beloved cat. Photo credit MNDA

Jacky with Ellie, her beloved cat. Photo credit MNDA














So what’s their magic?

  • Knowledgeable, caring, skilled and patient nurses 24/7.
  • Doctors who plan your care.
  • A physiotherapist who kept joints supple and muscles active from bed rest.
  • Day hospice staff for a change of scenery, to see my friends in my group and have a massage.
  • Volunteers helping with the smooth running of all aspects of hospice. The best example I have from my bedroom has to be the view across the beautiful gardens.
  • The wildlife.
  • A caring CEO who sent round an ice cream van in the hot weather to give us all a treat.
  • The ice lollies I consumed! I was dehydrated. The drip helped a lot but also the lollies went a long way in getting me hydrated again.

I knew I was poorly but I was so concerned about leaving the infamous Ellie cat. However I was reassured that she could visit. So Ellie came in to see me a few times. Dr James, a self confessed dog lover, was caught giving her a fuss. The nurses all made a fuss of her too which Ellie adored. Ellie was so relaxed. It was clear that strange surroundings were ok so long as she was with her mum. Ellie would just get comfortable on my lap and stay there despite the comings and goings. Ellie was fascinated by the much bigger birds here, i.e. the ducks and ducklings. She enjoyed the different outlook as she is a house cat.

Quite honestly it made my day. Ellie and I are together 24/7 at home so I would have missed her terribly. To be allowed patients pets in is a terrific idea. I understand all sorts have been here, including horses. The therapy pets give is well known and I was also visited by Meg, the PAT dog, while Ellie was away!

The demand for hospice care is high and I was so fortunate to have been offered a bed. Forever grateful.


  • Read more of Jacky’s blogs

jacky smith in t shirt on IPU on twitter