A terminally ill patient of St Barnabas Hospice is appealing for more support for the Hospice. Lisa Hartley from Spalding was given just 48 hours to live in 2020, but thanks to support from St Barnabas Hospice, she survived against all odds and is seeking to raise awareness of the support she has received over the last two years.
After a longstanding spinal injury, Lisa suffered from a heart attack, meningitis, and a brain swell, and she contracted sepsis twice over the course of two years. All these issues combined gave her chronic heart failure, leaving her bedridden.
Whilst in the hospital, Lisa received the devastating news that she only had 48 hours left to live. Against all odds, her condition improved enough for her to be out of immediate danger, but her doctors told her that there was nothing more they could do for her.
However, her heart nurse suggested Lisa get in touch with St Barnabas for support in early 2020. The decision to accept this suggestion has changed her life drastically.
Lisa says: “I was given 48 hours to live, but instead, I walked out of the hospital two weeks later to a home that I didn’t think I would see again.
“St Barnabas gives me medical care, as well as counselling on a weekly basis, and helps with my mobility. Over the years, they have provided me with a powered wheelchair, a ramp for the house and other specialist furniture to improve my day-to-day. I was even given advice on improving my family’s financial situation, which had been worrying me further.”
A true animal-lover, Lisa owns three horses, including 26-year-old Monty, a stallion with the calm and sweet temperament of a dog, as well as a terminal heart condition like his owner. During her long battle with her condition, Lisa’s wish was to ride Monty again after not being able to get in the saddle for over 18 months.
Lisa says: “It was through Zoe’s physio that I was able to get back to riding after being poorly for so long. She knew that my aim was to get back on Monty, and that’s what happened. It’s people like that who don’t realise that the job they do gives so much back to others.
“Monty needs me to keep going, and I want to keep going. I’m not ready to give in yet!”
The upcoming HeART Trail, a heart-shaped sculpture art trail set to launch in the summer of 2023, raises awareness for St Barnabas Hospice and its care for patients with heart conditions like Lisa.
The whole community can enjoy these beautiful “HeARTworks”, and the aim is to have 40 sculptures up and down the county – from the vibrant city of Lincoln across the rolling Wolds to the East Coast and as far as Stamford.
For St Barnabas to launch the Trail, £300,000 must be raised through sponsorship.
Lisa says: “There are so many local businesses that could help this amazing charity that has been going for 40 years. I know money is tight for everybody, but please give to a charity that gives so much to so many others.
“It would be fantastic to see a HeART appear in the Spalding area where I live, so I’d love for Spalding businesses and organisations to get involved.
“It’s now over two and a half years since I first got support from St Barnabas. It has not been an easy journey; I currently take 76 pills daily, and my health and overall wellbeing change daily.
“But thanks to St Barnabas, I can visit Monty and my other horses regularly, look after them at the stables and ride when I feel well enough. It is through this care that I can keep on being me.”
To find out more about the HeART Trail and become a sponsor, visit: www.stbarnabashospice.co.uk/hearttrail
St Barnabas Hospice is a local independent charity and every year they support more than 10,500 people across Lincolnshire.
They deliver free, high-quality, compassionate end-of-life care and support to people living with a life-limiting or terminal illness, their family and carers.
St Barnabas offers the patient and their family hospice care and support via: specialist inpatient care, care at home, day therapy, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, complementary therapy, welfare advice and bereavement support.
All the services are free. St Barnabas needs to raise over £6m a year to provide its support and care. Over 900 volunteers play a crucial role in the charity’s success.