My name is James Keith and I’d like to ask you to support University Hospitals Dorset NHS Charity’s Light Up Our Tree campaign because of the incredible care and support my mum, Beverley Keith and our family received.
It’s very difficult to put into words just how incredible my mum was. Nothing I can say will do justice to the remarkable wife, mum, ‘glam-ma’ and friend we have lost. Mum was the most selfless, kind-hearted and fun loving person. She was uniquely able to engage everyone she met in genuine and heartfelt conversation. To me, she was the ultimate mum who my sisters and I considered to be our best friend. Her life was dedicated to her family and she gave us every ounce of love she could and more.
In November 2020, Mum suffered a severe stroke. She spent the next 62 days in hospital. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we were unable to visit and she spent 55 of those days on her own. Mum was treated on Poole Hospitals’ stroke rehabilitation ward and during this time we began to see that she was making slow progress in her recovery. The only contact we were able to have with Mum was through FaceTime. Sometimes the calls would only last 30 seconds, but every one was so important to us all. Due to her stroke, Mum would often struggle to find the correct words; it was so difficult not being able to be there in person to comfort her. As a family, we know all she would have needed was a hug, and to be powerless was heart-breaking.
Whilst in rehabilitation, Mum contracted Covid-19. Staff exhausted all options to save her but there was nothing more that could be done and she was placed into palliative care. After 55 days we were finally able to visit. I held her hand as my dad, my sisters and I sat together and told her stories about how incredible she was. We told her it was ok to let go and promised we would look after each other.
On 24 January 2021, Mum passed away. Throughout this time, hospital staff were faultless. They did everything with such care and understanding, and we’re so grateful they allowed us onto the ward to visit Mum before she passed. They gave us the gift of time to say goodbye and hold Mum’s hand during her final moments.
On the night that Mum passed away, a nurse named Chelsea changed her into a pale pink gown, brushed her hair, put a small amount of make-up on her and softened the lights. This compassionate act meant so much to me and my family. Thank you to all the staff who were so dedicated to providing my mum with such outstanding care in the most difficult of circumstances.
I have so many wonderful memories of Mum’s breath-taking smile and infectious laughter. My mum, Beverley, was such a bright light in so many people’s lives. This candle will represent the light she has left behind in our hearts.