Five photos that make us smile

Thanks to your support Marie Curie Nurses like Isobel Partridge can bring smiles into the homes of terminally ill people. Here are five photos and stories that have spread smiles and precious moments for people living with terminal illness and their families.

Leave your tears at the door

Isobel Partridge

One evening when I was sitting at her bedside, we had a chat about her worries and anxieties. She told me how sad it made her to see everybody else around her so upset.

So together we hatched a plan – we made a little sign and hung it outside her bedroom door. The sign read “Leave your tears at the door. Smile upon entering.” It really helped the family accept the end was near – seeing them smile made her feel happier, too. It also meant the time they had left together was so much happier – full of smiles, not tears.


Brenda Hancock with her dog

Don Hancock

Our lovely district nurse suggested that I ask for help from Marie Curie at night – I'd never heard of this service before. Two days later a Marie Curie Nurse arrived and I could get a good night's sleep – 7 or 8 hours. I couldn't have continued without this support at night – they were like angels in disguise.

They felt like friends and we often talked and laughed together. They talked to both me and Brenda and I could see the difference it made to her. The nurses took the time to get to know her. They were never in a rush, nothing was too much trouble and everything was done with a smile.


Deirdre McKenny

Deirdre McKenny with her motherMy mother was a professional pastry chef and food was everything to her. When she was unable to eat, she lost a big part of her life. The Marie Curie Hospice staff were wonderful to her. When they saw she was getting a bit stronger, they organised for her to have a feeding tube. They looked after her so well she went into remission, lasting 18 months, and was able to come home.

After four months, Mum didn't need the tube anymore. She became very adventurous in her tastes, enjoying flavours she never would have eaten before she was ill – such as spicy Thai cuisine. During the remission, mum really embraced life. We had a fantastic time together, thanks to the care and support we received from Marie Curie.

Janice with her Marie Curie Helper Sandra

Janice Augustin

Janice has MS and every week receives a visit from sandra her Marie Curie Helper.

It makes me look forward to Thursdays every week, when she’s coming to see me. And normally I know what it is I want to discuss with her because it’s happened throughout the week and I know she’ll be happy to hear it. It makes a big difference.


Wendy Stamp

Wendy Stamp

Mum often got very agitated with new people, because of the dementia, but she was immediately calm with [the Marie Curie Nurse] Sam. She thought he was lovely, and would let him in when she didn't let anyone else in her house. He made her feel safe and comfortable right from the beginning and he felt like part of the family. It was so important to me that mum wasn't frightened or alone.


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