After Lyndsey Campion’s dad, Ian Davies, was cared for at Pilgrims Hospice Thanet in 2016, the family now dedicate a sunflower in his memory as part of the charity’s Sunflower Memories campaign. Here, Lyndsey shares how it helps them to give back and support other families.
My lovely dad was an inspirational, wonderfully funny man. He had a great fun spirit and was loved by all, none more so than his 13 grandchildren who adored their “silly, playful grandad”. His family were the most important thing in the world to him and he always had such a special bond with my sisters Jo and Kirsty, too. He was truly a free spirit, would often go off wandering for days at a time and never worried about a thing; even when he was ill he still put everyone else first.
You could usually find Dad doing his carpentry work, fishing with my brother, or helping and looking after people; he even made friends with the local homeless and would often invite them home for something to eat! He had such a kind and generous heart, and always shared his winnings out with his children whenever he won on his beloved horses.
The in memory events at Pilgrims give us as a family a chance to return to the hospice where we feel close to Dad, whilst being amongst others who have gone through the same experience and emotions. We will never forget the care and love he received throughout his illness and will be forever grateful that Dad had this special place in his life.
When my dad first became ill with lung cancer in 2012, he was told that he’d only have a few months, but with his typical determination he would live life to the full for another four years.
Dad first experienced the hospice as a day patient, attending craft sessions and lunches, and enjoyed many a good roast dinner there! He loved making friends with the volunteers and other patients at Pilgrims, which gave him a safe place to talk about any worries he had.
Dad was a big Arsenal supporter and when he became very ill, my sister Jo managed to put out a Facebook post that resulted in Ian Wright coming down to visit him, which caused quite a stir amongst everyone that saw him on his way to see my dad!
The light in Dad’s life in his last years was the support that the Thanet hospice gave him – he always described it as his “happy place”. The last time he was brought into the hospice before he passed away in 2016, he looked around and simply said “what a lovely day it is”, as he felt so comfortable in these familiar surroundings.
We were all really nervous when Dad started visiting the hospice, but it’s such a bright and positive space, and everyone is so caring, always going the extra mile for those in their care.
I donated to the Sunflower Memories event last year and am looking forward to attending this year. It’s important for us to feel that we are giving back to the hospice and contributing towards the care of others. The in memory events at Pilgrims give us as a family a chance to return to the hospice where we feel close to Dad, whilst being amongst others who have gone through the same experience and emotions. We will never forget the care and love he received throughout his illness and will be forever grateful that Dad had this special place in his life.
Sunflower Memories events will take place at our hospices in July 2019:
- Canterbury, Saturday 27 July, 11am – 1pm
- Thanet, Saturday 27 July, 2pm – 4pm
- Ashford, Sunday 28 July, 2pm – 4pm