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Judy and Martin’s story

Martin Griffiths was left devastated by the loss of his dear wife, Judy, just the day after her 35th birthday in 2009. This huge tragedy was compounded by the fact that Judy had given birth to their only child, Samuel, just five months earlier.

Pregnant Judy was diagnosed with cancer and had to face the traumatic decision of choosing to take medications that could prolong her life but have negative effects on her unborn child, or to ensure the safety of the baby she was carrying but know that she would have a much shorter life. Judy chose to carry on with her pregnancy and safely bring Samuel into the world.

Judy, Martin and Samuel spent the final weeks of her life at Butterwick Hospice in-patient unit in Stockton-on-Tees. Martin explains “Judy meant everything. It was amazing to be a dad and to see Judy take on being a mam even though she was so unwell.” The hospice allowed the family to bond and spend their last precious moments together as a family of three. Butterwick Hospice Care’s philosophy is to add life to days when adding days to life is no longer possible.

“Being an Ambassador for Butterwick is so important to me because of the way Judy was looked after in her final weeks. Their support and impeccable care was also extended to Samuel, myself and all of our family.”

“Despite the speed in which Judy’s health deteriorated, Butterwick Hospice enabled close family to spend dignified, quiet time with Judy which we were all so grateful for.”

“After losing Judy I felt an overwhelming desire to create a legacy in her name. I, along with friends and family, wanted to raise as much money as possible so other people could continue to receive the same care and attention, we had experienced.”

“The personal care and support from the Butterwick to myself and my family has continued as we adjusted to life without Judy. The Hospice is a very special place, with very special people. Samuel and I have continued to visit whenever possible and we always feel really welcome.”

Martin is now an Ambassador for the Hospice and is able to tell of his own experiences of the quality of care that Butterwick doctors, nurses, therapists and counsellors are able to freely give to people because of the funds raised by ordinary people like you. Martin explains “it is so important that Butterwick continues to thrive as a charity and that the organisation remains in our community.”

Being diagnosed with a disease for which there is no cure is a game changer. It’s a diagnosis that stops you and your loved ones in your tracks and it changes all the priorities in your life.

By supporting Butterwick Hospice Care, you are supporting families just like yours through the hardest times they face.