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Helping families make the most of every day

For the Platt family, it meant husband and doting dad Neil would get full-time specialist clinical care as the family from Starbeck came to terms with the reality of life with motor neurone disease (MND).

It came only 10 months after diagnosis but, such is the speed at which the progressive nerve condition can take hold, Neil’s needs had become too great for him to remain at home.

“Getting him to Saint Michael’s was such a relief,” said Neil’s wife, Louise, who admitted she was initially terrified at the thought of a hospice. “The illness was progressing fast and his body was changing so quickly.”

The specialist clinical team at Saint Michael’s helped Neil with pain management and by controlling his medication.

“It also gave me chance to stop burying my feelings. At home, with a baby and husband to care for, I had no time to be upset. Saint Michael’s gave me time and space and allowed me to be Neil’s wife, rather than his carer.”

The specialist equipment on IPU meant Neil was able to have his first proper bath in months at Saint Michael’s. “It sounds like such a simple thing, but that bath gave us private time and the chance to talk about everything, including his wishes for me and Oscar for the future.”

“Neil had worried he’d feel institutionalised in a hospice, but this simply was not the case and he was able to enjoy food tailored to his needs, complementary therapies and was even able to have the odd the odd pint of Guinness,” added Louise.

The Platts were able to make the most of their remaining months, the couple celebrated their fourth wedding anniversary and they spent Christmas together as a family.

Neil died in February 2009, 14 months after diagnosis. He was 34.
This story is published with the consent of the Platt family.

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