“I now have a good hearty laugh every week when I come to Galway Hospice. Life is really simple when I think about it. Galway Hospice has given me my life back.”
This is Joe Kelly’s story…
As I awaited my first visit to the Galway Hospice Day Care Centre, I wondered what it might be like there. Truth be told, I was apprehensive. A knock came to my front door, where a pleasant friendly woman greeted me with a big hello. She escorted me to the hospice mini bus and shortly thereafter, I found myself in the Day Care Centre where I was further greeted by cheerful staff and offered a cup of tea and a scone. I observed patients, staff and volunteers chatting, laughing and having fun. I quickly felt at ease and followed suit. For the first time in my life, I played Bingo! I started to wonder why I had felt nervous about coming here. For the first time in months, I felt happy.
The hospice FAB (Fatigue and Breathlessness) Clinic is where things started to make sense to me. Each person was invited to bring a family member for support so my daughter Bridgetta accompanied me. The course explained the three ‘Fs’ – fan, flex and focus. This I found very helpful, especially when at home. The techniques I learned at the clinic helped me manage my anxiety and panic attacks and as the weeks went on, I was loaned a mobility scooter to help me regain my independence – I was delighted and overwhelmed.
Every week in the Day Care Centre there is something to look forward to – a Jacuzzi, an aromatherapy massage or physiotherapy. All of Galway Hospice’s services are provided free-of-charge. Fundraising events such as Coffee Morning ensure that I and many others receive the best care, treatment and support. I would encourage everyone to consider hosting a coffee morning in support of Galway Hospice this September.
Since becoming a Day Care patient at the hospice, my family has noticed that my mood is happy and positive, especially when I tell them that I’ve won again at Bingo! I now have a good hearty laugh every week when I come to Galway Hospice. Life is really simple when I think about it. Galway Hospice has given me my life back. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the staff and volunteers at Galway Hospice for the care and support I’ve been given over the past year. I’m forever grateful.
Joe is pictured in the Galway Hospice Day Care Centre with Day Care Manager Leslie Carroll and his daughter Bridgetta Kelly.