Sara Turle - one of our Patient Partners – recently donated two light boxes to improve the waiting areas for our cancer patients. Here, Sara explains why, with her family, she was so keen to do this.
Thursday 8 April 2010 was when I first went to my GP and that was the start of cancer and my journey with Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT). A Trust, that I was blessed to get.
Fast forward to April 2020 and 10 years of cancer survivorship.
This was a momentous moment that my family, led by my mother, wanted to acknowledge by paying tribute to and saying thanks to Dr Mary Quigley, my oncologist, and the incredible team of people across the length and breadth of BHRUT who had got me to this point through their skill, expertise, and kindness.
The pandemic gave us more time to decide what we wanted to do that would please both patients and staff alike. With the help of Alix Holmes, Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Manager, Dan Treby, a signage specialist and our King George and Queen’s Hospitals Charity, we brought our family’s plan to fruition.
Another year on, and now at 11 years survival, we are finally, utterly delighted to have been able to gift these two light boxes - one for the Sunflower Chemotherapy Suite waiting room and one for the nearby corridor. Having sat in and walked around these areas throughout my own treatments, I know what it is like to do so.
Mum sadly died last year, but we know she would be over the moon at their beauty and because of the positive, uplifting messages we are already receiving about them. We had spoken about a light box that was already bringing pleasure to our Oncology outpatient waiting room and she loved the idea that we could add to this.
She knew what a special place the Trust was to me, not only through my own cancer care but because of my Patient Partner role, working together with staff to improve patient experience. She got to experience this for herself when she received some specialist care, a couple of years ago. She felt what I felt. She would be incredibly proud and happy.
As a family, it is our pleasure to have donated the light boxes and we hope they bring comfort - in times of challenge- to patients; and strength to the staff who we remain indebted to for the care they have provided.