Today, on Ben and Rebecca Stone’s first anniversary of their wedding ceremony at Rowcroft Hospice, they reflect on the heartfelt significance of the day that was made extra special by the presence of Ben’s father, Andy Stone (69) who passed away just days later.
Finding light in the hardest moments imaginable
Andy’s journey with prostate cancer brought him to Rowcroft’s Inpatient Unit in December 2022, a week before Ben and Rebecca’s wedding. Despite the best efforts for Andy to attend the wedding, his declining health prevented travel. Responding swiftly, the hospice team organised a wedding ceremony at Rainbow House within the hospice grounds, handling every detail in just a week.
“They did the most amazing job for us,” said Ben. “I haven’t got the words to describe how incredible the team were, and we couldn’t have been more grateful to have the wonderful ceremony at the hospice. I struggle to describe how important it was and how devastated I was when I thought a week before that Dad wouldn’t be at our wedding.
“It was such an important and poignant day, one that I’ll remember for the rest of my life, and one that I’ll want to tell my children and my grandchildren about. I’m so pleased to be able to look back on that day and know that Dad was there. The memories of the special service in such a beautiful setting, with my parents with us, will be treasured forever. It gives us a lot of peace now.”
Rowcroft’s Director of Patient Care Vicky Bartlett commented:
“It was a huge honour to arrange the wedding ceremony here at the hospice and to enable Andy to be a part of such an important day. This is just one of many examples highlighting how we enable our patients to share in precious last moments that are treasured forever by their loved ones.
“As a charity we support 2,500 patients and those closest to them each year, but we hope to expand our services so that we can care for more families who need us across South Devon. We’ve recently launched our No One Alone Appeal at rowcrofthospice.org.uk/noonealone – to raise an additional £500,000 per year by 2026 to help us care for hundreds more patients annually across the region. This appeal is in response to a rising demand for our services due to the increasingly complex needs of an ageing population.”
Reflecting on the care that his father received at the hospice, Ben said:
“We feel so indebted to Rowcroft for all of the support that was given to us. As soon as Dad arrived at the hospice, he was so comfortable and relaxed, and it almost felt like home. There’s so much compassion and expertise at Rowcroft; they took all of the stress of the care away and allowed us to really spend quality time with Dad, rather than worry about everything. We were so grateful for the atmosphere and environment that’s created at the hospice to allow us to go from being Dad’s carers to actually being family again. If Rowcroft hadn’t been there for us, I don’t know what we would’ve done.”
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