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James’ Story

Julie Colton was admitted to Ashgate Hospicecare in September 2014 as the symptoms from her brain tumour were becoming too difficult to control. She spent the last 4 months of her life on the hospice’s Inpatient Unit before she sadly died on 21st January 2015.

Her sister, Karen Simpson, says ‘I wanted to share my experience of Ashgate Hospicecare because it became such a big part of my family’s life for such a long time. During those 4 months Julie was on the ward, she made a huge impression on all of the staff with her whit and strength of character. But for us, knowing that she was cared for and that they could control her symptoms gave us the peace of mind we so desperately longed for.

At Christmas, Julie was determined to come home and spend Christmas Day with the family like we always had. It wasn’t unusual for 20 of us to gather and have Christmas dinner together. However, because Julie was so desperately poorly it was obvious that she wasn’t well enough to return home. So one of the lovely doctors suggested If you can’t go to them then why don’t we bring Christmas to you! So that’s what we all did. The day room became our own with family and friends surrounding Julie’s bed. It was incredibly emotional and a very precious memory that will stay with us for a very long time.

Julie passed away 3 days before my niece Ruby had organised a Winter Walk to raise some much needed funds for the hospice. The walk exceeded everyone’s expectations and the total is still rising. So far we have raised over £13,000 with donations collected from different events all pooled together in Julie’s memory. When you experience the love and care that Ashgate provides, it’s very difficult to turn your back and walk away.