Keri Emerton was just 38 when she died at Keech Hospice Care in April 2013. Her sister, Kate, talks to us about her vibrant, fun-loving sister and how the hospice made her wish come true to feed her beloved horse, Shannon, for the last time.
“Keri was the most outgoing, lively person I knew. She was the life and soul of every party. She loved her job as a cabin crew member at EasyJet. My big sister by three years, we were like chalk and cheese – but were always there for each other.
"She was 37 when she was diagnosed with non Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Throughout Keri’s illness we always believed her cancer was curable. It was only the day before she came to Keech we found out it was terminal.
"Keri stayed at Keech for eight days. It was amazing, the nurses and staff accommodated all of us so warmly. Having everyone here was important to Keri – we all came to the hospice, her family, friends and her colleagues from Easyjet.
"A doctor asked Keri if there was anything she wanted them to do. Keri said she wanted to see her horse, Shannon, and feed her for the last time. The next thing we saw was a horse box coming up the lane – Keech had made it happen!
"We pushed Keri’s bed outside. When she called out to Shannon it was the first time I had heard her voice upbeat in ages. Shannon came straight over. It was such a moving experience.
"We were all chatting and laughing. Dad apologised to the nurses for all the noise we were making, only to be told how lovely it was to hear laughter. That just summed up the Keech experience for me. They did everything possible to make all of us feel comfortable and at home.
"When Keri died, it was very peaceful with all her friends and family gathered round. Keech was the right place to be. I think this photo touched many people. To me it makes me happy that Keri knew how much she was loved and cared for by everyone right up until the very end.”
Originally published on ehospice: Hospice grants patient’s dying wish to feed her horse one last time