Yellow ribbons which have been tied in the grounds of St Catherine’s Hospice in memory of a beloved husband and his granddaughter are bringing comfort to a family from Lancashire.
Debbie Sunter and her family have made poignant Yellow Ribbon Dedications in honour of her football-loving husband Michael – known to his friends and loved ones as Sunny – and her precious baby granddaughter Harper.
Each summer, the names of people being remembered in this meaningful way are written on ribbons which decorate the hospice grounds in Lostock Hall, and entered into the charity’s Yellow Ribbon Remembrance Book.
This year, St Catherine’s is also sending out ribbons for people to personalise and display in their own homes
Mum-of-two Debbie, from Penwortham, said: “Sunny was a family man who loved holidays and adored his grandchildren – he was sad at the thought he wasn’t going to meet his sixth grandchild due in August.
“He was diagnosed with cancer in November 2017 and had immunotherapy, and we were referred to St Catherine’s in October 2020 for pain management.
“Then one of the hospice’s Clinical Nurse Specialists Chelle started visiting us at home in February this year.
“She was always caring and offered lots of support for Sunny and all the family, and was always at the end of the phone if we needed advice.
“Chelle was great not only with Sunny – caring for him in such a dignified way – but with myself and our daughter
Amy and son Jack. She was always checking in on the whole family.”
Sunny died peacefully at home on April 28 aged 64, surrounded by his loving family.
They are also paying special tribute to Amy’s daughter Harper, who died in September 2016 when she was just two-days-old.
Debbie said: “Since Harper passed away we have always taken great comfort in coming to the St Catherine’s Light Up A Life service at Christmas time, and in the summer we make a Yellow Ribbon Dedication in her memory.
“We feel it’s a really lovely way to remember both Sunny and Harper. St Catherine’s is a beautiful place just to have a peaceful walk round and a coffee.
“I visited the hospice’s gardens recently with my granddaughters Evie and Faith to see if we could find our ribbons. It was amazing really because as soon as we got there, Sunny and Harper’s ribbons just blew out in the breeze right in front of us, next to each other. We couldn’t believe it, it was a very special moment.”
Yellow Ribbon Dedications are welcome in memory of anyone, with donations pledged helping to fund the specialist palliative and end-of-life care provided by St Catherine’s to local people affected by life-shorting illnesses such as cancer, motor neurone disease, and heart failure, as well as the charity’s ongoing emotional and bereavement support offered to patients’ loved ones.
Everyone is welcome to visit the beautiful Yellow Ribbon display in St Catherine’s Park this June and July, and the Yellow Ribbon Remembrance Book will be available to view in The Mill Shop in the hospice grounds and online later this summer.
To make a dedication, visit www.stcatherines.co.uk or call 01772 629171.
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