When Helen Hirons’s husband, Ian, was dying, she was so grateful to have Mountbatten by her side.

Caring for Ian at home during the 2021 Covid lockdown was tough, with his health deteriorating, coupled with ongoing concerns around the virus and keeping shielded.

Having had two respite visits, Ian’s third stay on the inpatient unit was his last, though Helen will never forget the last week of his life.

“I could be Helen, Ian’s wife, and not Helen, Ian’s carer,” she said.

“That was the most precious gift anyone could have given me. The Mountbatten staff and volunteers went above and beyond for us and it meant the world.”

Even though the hospice had to adhere to strict Covid restrictions, provisions were made for people to visit Ian, including the couple’s then 11-year-old son.

“We couldn’t have that hug or that contact with the nurses and smiles were hidden by the masks but everything still went into giving us those special, intimate, personal moments.

“It was extraordinary, given everything that was going on.”

Helen received free bereavement support from Mountbatten, which has continued following the death of her close friend, Sally.

“When I was visiting Sally at Mountbatten, I was so pleased to see ‘the old hospice back’, with no masks and none of the Covid restrictions.

“It is such a special place and it’s a very safe space for me.

“Mountbatten is an amazing community which I am so glad to be part of.”

We’re very grateful to Helen for sharing her story. If you have a story about how Mountbatten has made a difference to you, help us raise awareness of our work by sharing it below.

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