Jersey Hospice Lottery money supports 'midwives for the end of life'

  • Alex Spiceley speaks to Alan Burgess and Mr and Mrs Determeyer about the support Jersey Hospice offers.

This evening Jersey Hospice Care will make one lucky ticket holder a millionaire. The Million Pound Lottery raises £800,000 for the Hospice which provides vital work in the community and at their base in the island.

Our much loved colleague Gary Burgess was a great supporter of Jersey Hospice Care and spent his last few hours there.

But before that, Gary was at home being cared for - something his husband Alan says was only made possible because of the work of Hospice.

Gary and his husband Alan held their civil partnership in March 2018 and were first to convert to a marriage when the law changed that year. Credit: ITV Channel TV

"I think for Gary he was so full of life and he wanted to live his best life for as long as he could and that included his job, which he loved, and seeing his friends, seeing his family."

By offering pain management and support at home Hospice enabled him to spend more time with those he loved.

"I just can't say thank you enough, it felt like we were getting very individual care but it's the fact they provide that to everyone. It wasn't Gary getting any sort of special treatment, it was very focused on what can we do for you personally."

In 2021 hospice provided 1,217 home visits, 978 people received care and there were 3,095 overnight stays.

There were 363 sessions held with children and young people, 218 complimentary treatments and just over 400 People received bereavement or emotional support.

Hospice can only provide this level of care due to funds raised by islanders.

Tracey Fallon is a specialist palliative care nurse at Hospice, and provides support to people with life-limiting and life-debilitating illnesses.

"Understandably most people don't want to acknowledge that we're immortal and think about what happens nearing the end of our life, but actually it's as precious as it is the day we're born. One of my colleagues has a lovely phase, she says 'we're like midwives for the end of life' and so it would be deeply saddening if we weren't able to deliver that service."

Richard and Loraine Determeyer met on a ski trip more than 60 years ago and have recently been supported by Hospice.

Earlier this year, when Richard was particularly ill, the couple needed some extra help.

Richard and Loraine Determeyer talking to ITV Channel about the care and support Jersey Hospice provides. Credit: ITV Channel TV

Richard received a week of round-the-clock care which then enabled him to return home to be with his loved ones.

Richard says: "Well I've called it a holiday but, of course it wasn't a holiday. But the people and the dedication and nothing is too much and they don't let you go, you're with them you're part of a family, you're part of a group and that is a very safe feeling.

"But best thing of it all is that, I knew one day I will come back here and I know where I'm going, I know what it is and I am very confident so really, I think it was a really good break and I really enjoyed it so I am very thankful that."

Richard's wife Loraine says knowing Hospice is there gives her a lot of reassurance.

"I know they're at the end of the phone and that they're there for me and for Richard. So it's not just Richard. It's me as well who gets the reassurance."