Jonathan’s Story

Jonathan's StoryMy name is Jonathan Reston and I wanted to share with you how special Christmas is at St Andrew’s Hospice.  Last year, our family experienced a special Hospice Christmas…

In July 2022, my mum Frances was hand-in-hand with her grandchildren, walking around the shopping centre, picking her birthday shoes. By September 2022, my mum was suffering from debilitating headaches and by October she could barely walk. Later that month, she was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour. She was the matriarch of our family, the glue that held us all together. She remained strong and encouraged us all to stay positive while our whole world collapsed.

Mum’s symptoms progressed and she got worse and in late November 2022, she was admitted to St Andrew’s Hospice.

Within hours, the medical and nursing staff set about reviewing my mum’s medications and managing her symptoms. They attended to my mum’s every need and also to ours; wrapping their arms around us, providing us with support, understanding and empathy. For the first time in our journey, we felt supported. While Mum was receiving nursing care, the staff couldn’t have been more helpful. The cafe staff looked out for us and made sure we were eating.

My mum loved Christmas and the staff made sure she experienced every last minute of it. Christmas time is really special at St Andrew’s with carol singing, Christmas movies playing on the big screen, beautiful Christmas trees both inside and outside in the grounds and a Christmas market. My dad was allowed to decorate Mum’s room with her own favourite decorations and she even received a gift from Santa! My mum and dad got to experience all of this together. They enjoyed a lovely Christmas Dinner together on Christmas Day with the rest of the family visiting.   Nothing was a problem for the Hospice team. They routinely gave my Dad and I dinner and would make a bed up for my dad to stay over.

Jonathan's StoryThe professionalism and expertise of the medical and nursing staff was forever evident; observing Mum closely, managing her symptoms but never alarming us. They engaged Dad and I in my mum’s care and made sure we were always listened to and consulted.

My mum wasn’t just physically supported but emotionally and spiritually supported too. Sister Catherine was never away from her bedside, giving Mum strength through her faith – which was very important to her.

Mum passed away peacefully on 17th January 2023, surrounded by her family. As a family, we would like to thank to St Andrew’s Hospice and all the staff there; we were given the greatest gift possible – quality time. We will be forever grateful for that.

Could you help make this Christmas special for patients and families in Lanarkshire? Could you give them the chance of one last precious Christmas together like our family experienced last year?

To make a donation to the Hospice’s Marvellous Christmas Appeal, click here.

My family hope that this Christmas will be extra special, and that, with your support, local patients and families will be able to create memories that will last a lifetime.

Thank you for everything you do for St Andrew’s Hospice – you really are marvellous.

A Blithe Yule and a Haud Hogmanay to you!

Jonathan Reston and Ian Reston
Family of Frances Reston