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Family donate £10,000 to ‘unsung hero’ nurses

9 April 2024

The family of Kate Smart, who died in August 2022, raised £10,000 as a thank you to the nurses who cared for her in her last days.

Kate was diagnosed with a terminal illness and died 10 days later, but thanks to the efforts of the district nursing and out of hours teams from City Health Care Partnership CIC (CHCP), she was able to have her wish to die at home surrounded by her family and friends.

Kate’s daughter Beth said the nurses were ‘unsung heroes’ who came out at all hours of the day and night to support Kate and give her the treatment she needed. At an afternoon tea organised by the team, Beth and her fiancé Will, his friend Miles and Kate’s aunt and uncle Rosie and Mark Ellerby presented a cheque for £10,000 to some of the nurses who had cared for Kate.

“We felt so special when you arrived,” said Beth. “Nothing came close to you guys. You were such a godsend to us and you did an amazing job, coming out four or five times a day or more to make sure Mum was comfortable.”

“Kate’s absolute wish was to be at home,” said Rosie. “She did not want to go back to hospital and the team managed to fulfil that wish. All the family were at home with her and we didn’t need to worry about visiting hours or how many people could be there. Without your support it wouldn’t have been possible.

“It was a weirdly beautiful time; I laughed and cried more in that two weeks than in the rest of my life.”

Will and Miles both sprang into action to fundraise in Kate’s memory. Will ran the London Marathon (with only six weeks to train) and Miles ran a 43-mile ultra marathon through the Yorkshire Dales. “We wanted to raise money for the team that had done so much for Kate,” explained Will, “and as soon as we put up the Just Giving site people started donating. Within in a week we had £1,000 and it’s just gone on from there.”

“We want the money to go where it’s needed,” said Beth. “But we’d really like the team to have a treat, whether it’s a spa day or whatever they’d like to do (axe throwing was mentioned!) then for the rest to go towards helping patients like Mum.”

Head of service Suzanne Carmichael said the team were overwhelmed by the family’s generosity. “It’s a wonderful thing to do and I know we’re all so touched by this gesture,” she said. “Everyone involved in Kate’s care remembers her and it’s just so lovely that their care and dedication has been recognised in this way.”