A KILBARCHAN woman who lost both her parents to lung cancer has thanked a Renfrewshire hospice for the “exceptional” care provided during their final days.

Helen Turnbull was heartbroken when her dad Matt died in June, after her mum Jessie passed away in October last year at St Vincent’s Hospice, in Howwood.

She has commended hospice staff for ensuring that her parents’ last months were as comfortable as possible, even during a pandemic.

“I can’t thank St Vincent’s Hospice enough for the amazing care they gave to my mum and dad,” Helen told The Gazette.

“All throughout lockdown they were there for us, giving us a lifeline, lightening my caring role and allowing us to spend precious time together.

“Although we really didn’t know much about hospice care before, I can truly say their incredible support was the turning point for mum.

“She loved it at the hospice and everyone made her feel so happy. When she died peacefully there, we were so grateful for the support we received.”

During the height of the pandemic, when patients and families couldn’t visit the hospice, staff at St Vincent’s found innovative ways to care while maintaining the highest standards of safety.

Their nurses and doctors were welcomed into homes and often stayed beside their patients through the night to give specialist care.

Helen said: “When we heard the news of my dad’s diagnosis so soon after mum’s death, we were so upset.

“By mid-March, when the pandemic restrictions came, we had to shield at home. We never felt alone because the hospice team kept in touch through regular phone calls.

“They also arranged a hospital bed for his house and provided personal care.”

Brona McGee, director of care at St Vincent’s Hospice, added: “The support we have received from our local community this year has shone out through all the darkness surrounding us.

“Their donations and gifts have helped Helen and many other families to experience exceptional care from our team, free of charge.”

A virtual dedication service organised by St Vincent’s will be broadcast online at 4.30pm on Sunday, November 29, to remember those who have passed away this year.

To take part, visit www.facebook.com/StVincentsHospice.