Help make the Bartlett's last Christmas together truly magical
“Peter’s cancer means this might be his last Christmas with us. Will you help us make memories that will last our children a lifetime?”
(The names in this story have been changed to respect the local family’s privacy)
The Bartlett family will be facing their last Christmas all together. But with your support, North Devon Hospice can provide all the care the family needs, so Peter, Tamsin, Harry and Katie can enjoy all the things they hold most dear.
Harry, aged 8, wrote a very special list with what he wanted this Christmas. Would you help this come true..?
£14 could support the family to have dinner together
If Peter is staying on the hospice’s Bedded Unit at that point, this will help us cook Christmas dinner for all of their extended family (and we won’t make Harry eat any sprouts!)
£27 could provide pain control for Peter, to make kite-flying a reality
This gift could provide a visit from Peter’s hospice nurse, to regulate his pain. With this support, Peter can feel stable enough to continue the Christmas Day kite-flying tradition.
£41 could give hospice counselling to help mummy feel better
Tamsin is going to need the hospice now and into the future. This gift can provide much-needed counselling for Tamsin, which will also be available after Peter has died.
My name is Tamsin Bartlett. I write to you as a mother and a wife. As someone who is hoping for one more magical Christmas with her family. The memories from this festive season will need to last me and our two children a lifetime, because it’s almost certain to be the last Christmas we spend all together.
In March, we learned that my husband, Peter, had terminal bowel cancer. Since that devastating news, North Devon Hospice have swept in to pick us all up off the floor, helping us make the most of every precious day. It’s not just helping to manage Peter’s symptoms - so he can be a normal dad who’s not constantly in pain - it’s giving support to me and our two young children. I can’t imagine how we’d have coped without the hospice in these dark times.
Today, I'm asking if you can show your support, so the hospice can give us all the care we’ll need to make the most of our last Christmas all together. Whether we are able to be at home, or if Peter needs to be cared for at the hospice’s Bedded Unit by then, your support means that their teams can keep him mentally and physically pain-free. This will mean the world to me and our children, because we can make happy memories together and remember Peter as we’ve always known him.
We’ve been living with the impact of Peter’s terminal diagnosis for about 9 months. But I think the coming festive season is going to be especially hard for me, because I’ve always absolutely loved Christmas. So you can imagine that when our children Harry and Katie came along, it went to whole other level!
One of my favourite things is getting the children to write to Santa at The North Pole. When I knew I would be writing this letter to you on behalf of the hospice, it got me thinking what the children would write on their list this year, because our circumstances are so different now. When I asked Harry what he wished for this Christmas, I was blown away by what he said.
Material things didn’t enter his mind. Instead, Harry wanted the big family Christmas dinner we always have, where my sister’s family and our parents all get together. There’s 11 of us, so the house is madness! But clearly it means the world to him.
He also talked about our tradition of a walk on the beach after Christmas lunch. Harry and his dad always took a ball to kick about, and in later years they’ve taken Peter’s stunt kite to fly. Saunton beach is perfect for that, we’re so lucky to have it on our doorstep.
Finally, in a moment that really broke my heart, Harry said that he wanted his mummy to be OK this Christmas. He knows how much this time of year means to me, and he knows this is really going to be the last one we have with his Daddy.
I know that we can have all those things this Christmas, thanks to the support we get from North Devon Hospice. For 9 months now they’ve wrapped me, Peter and the kids up in their care. Our incredible hospice nurse, visits to help keep Peter’s pain under control. The kids have even done craft sessions at the hospice too. It’s great they have a space where they feel supported as well and learn that the hospice is not a scary place, which is important if Peter needs to stay there on the Bedded Unit at some point.
So, if you are able to make a donation to North Devon Hospice this Christmas, I want you to know how much of a difference it will make to my family, and many others who find themselves in this tough situation at this time of year.