Celebrating Paul’s life and making a difference in his memory
In November, Hospice was deeply grateful to receive gifts that totalled over £5,000 and which had been raised and given in memory of Paul Irwin who had died in the In Patient Unit in June. Paul was a much–loved colleague at YESSS Electrical and his wife, colleagues, and friends and family decided to raise funds in his memory to purchase smart televisions for each of the private bedrooms at Hospice. This was a generous gift that will keep on giving to each and every patient that Hospice will care for at Clarkson House in the months and years ahead. Providing specialist care includes making patients and their loved ones feel as comfortable as though they were at home, spending precious time together laughing through familiar films and following their favourite sports.
Paul Irwin was diagnosed with cancer in May 2018 and received chemotherapy in Jersey and radiotherapy in Cambridge. In May 2020, he was flown to Southampton for two weeks of radiotherapy. But as he arrived and prepared to quarantine in the UK he received only one dose of radiotherapy as doctors realised that the cancer had progressed and would not respond to the treatment. By this time, Paul was paralysed and had, in fact, only weeks to live. This devastating news for Paul and his beloved wife Cas was made worse by the quarantine restrictions in place at the time for those returning to Jersey and that visitors were not allowed at the hospital. But, as he returned to the Island in time for his birthday on 20th May, they received the news that there was a room for Paul at Hospice and that Cas could isolate with him, in his room, for the duration of their quarantine and for his final days.
During the last few months and as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Hospice has had to substantially reduce the number of visitors that patients could receive in order to keep patients and staff safe. However, for those patients who were approaching the end of life like Paul, the team have worked incredibly hard to ensure that their loved ones could be with them at the very end. They were able to put a spare bed for Cas in Paul’s room and support them through isolation, keeping everyone safe while still providing outstanding care.
Paul was one of those people who was full of energy and passion, who had spent his whole career in the electrical industry and was known and respected by everyone and loved by his colleagues and customers alike. Even when he was in Hospice, he was still trying to keep a finger on the pulse, staying in touch with friends and colleagues, laughing and joking with them, and still living life to the full.
Talking to Cas, she described their experience at Clarkson House as being the best possible gift they could have been given at such a difficult time. She said: “I have never experienced grief on this level before and I am astounded how overwhelming it is both mentally and physically. I will go gently, time probably will ease the pain because, looking back on the special time we had, my grief will ease as I remember that Paul was in the best place, and received the best care, and he passed away with dignity”.
Since he passed away in June, his friends and family have raised over £5,000 through donations and a socially distanced fundraising event at the Clay Pigeon Club at Greve de Lecq and a fantastic raffle on Saturday 21st November. His colleagues at YESSS Electrical, led by Sales manager Dean Saxelby have been incredibly generous and have pledged to continue fundraising in his memory once restrictions ease. Dean was one of Paul’s closest friends and worked tirelessly to put this event together, adjusting to Government restrictions as required and encouraging everyone to get involved and be generous in their support. This support and friendship is indeed very much appreciated and will enable the team at Hospice to continue to deliver outstanding care to everyone living with dying, all in memory.
Picture above, Paul and his wife Cas