For family, friends and daughter Rachel Starr, the pain of losing Mum, Karen Goddard suddenly to Cancer at the age of 55 years old will never fade. However, having the knowledge that Karen was given the very best care by the fantastic medical team in the Medical Assessment Unit (MAU) at the Royal United Hospital, Bath (RUH) during her final days, provided them with something positive to continue to carry on and use their experience to benefit others.
Determined to make a difference for future patients in MAU, Rachel with the help of her family organised a moonlight charity walk around their home town of Midsomer Norton to raise funds to purchase a second specialist machine that her Mum had used on the Unit. The top of the range Nasal High Flow system is a piece of breathing equipment that had made Karen’s last few days in hospital more comfortable and gave her family their last precious moments with her.
The walking event was a huge success and together, with the support of family and friends raised the £2,500 needed to purchase the equipment with the hospital’s charity, The Forever Friends Appeal with further funds going towards their RUH Cancer Care Campaign. Rachel, together with her Father, David, Aunt Sharon and close friend Amy Budds returned to MAU to present to the team the living saving equipment.
Helen Jeffcoat, Senior Sister, commented “On behalf of the team on MAU I would like to again thank the Goddard Family for their generous donation of a Nasal High Flow Oxygen machine for the unit. It is hopefully a great comfort to them that it gave Karen some relief and dignity in the last stages of her life. It is therefore their generosity that will then ultimately give so many other patients the same high level of care and treatment. This is an exceptional piece of equipment that has proven to be of such benefit to the many acutely ill patients that we see here on MAU. We cannot thank the family then enough’.”
Jan Witt, In Memory & Legacy officer, The Forever Friends Appeal, continues “It is incredibly moving when bereaved families find the inner strength to cope and become passionate about fundraising for people in a similar situation and choose to support the work of staff at the RUH. We are extremely
grateful to Rachel and her family for their tireless fundraising efforts and the incredible response of their friends who helped raise the amount needed to purchase this specialist equipment for MAU and towards the fundraising for a new Cancer Centre. Every year we are amazed by the generosity of our supporters who help the hospital in this way. This kind of support enables the clinical teams to take advantage of advances in medical technology and deliver the very best care for their patients at the RUH.”
Rachel on behalf of the family commented “After losing Mum so suddenly it felt that our world had been ripped apart but through the pain and dark we saw light, in the fact of the amazing care that my Mum received whilst on MAU and so we decided we wanted to give back to the department to also help so many other families whose lives can be saved or made more comfortable with this machine. There are a few people in particular we want to thank for the Charity Walk that took place last November, which saw over 70 people walk the 5 miles past local places that were significant in my Mum’s life; firstly Abi and John Anderton & The Winterfield Inn for holding the event and catering, Huw Garrett at Quick Print for Sponsoring the printing of the T-shirts, Wilts Electrical for supplying the T-shirts, Travis Perkins for donating the high vis jackets as all of these meant all the money raised would benefit the RUH, Alex Evans for the disco and Mulberry and Bristol City FC for our top raffle prizes plus all the other companies who donated prizes for the raffle. I would especially like to thank everyone who came on the night, purchased raffle tickets or donated as without you this wouldn’t of been possible, we were overwhelmed with how much of a success the night was. On returning to MAU to present the machine to the staff it made us all feel extremely proud that Mum can have a lasting legacy at the RUH and take comfort in knowing so many other families will benefit and to acknowledge the team for care and support they gave my Mum. To finish I would like to add that I would like to continue to organise another event to raise further funds for MAU and the RUH to support all the great work that they do”