“I feel so lucky to have been treated at Southmead. It’s an incredible hospital, and it’s generous people like you who make it even better for everyone.”
Stewart, Patient & Volunteer Patient Befriender
“My Southmead story began in April 2021. I’d always been fit and healthy, but I suddenly started to have trouble swallowing, and my feet and calves felt numb. Within a fortnight, I was in a wheelchair.
“I was admitted to Southmead Hospital and diagnosed with CIDP, a rare neurological disease that results in weakness and reduced senses in the arms and legs. I deteriorated quickly, to the point where I became totally paralysed and could only feel my head.
“I spent five months in hospital in the end. It was during Covid, and my wife was only able to visit for an hour a day, but everyone made such an effort to help me stay positive. They even arranged for me to see my grandson for the first time outside in the garden, which meant the world to me. I’m still receiving regular treatment to manage the condition – but I’m walking and driving again.
“Now, I volunteer twice a week on the neurology ward where I was treated, and I’m always inspired by the people I meet. Last Christmas, I volunteered on Boxing Day. I wanted to make sure that patients who didn’t get many visitors could spend time with someone.
“Southmead does everything it can to make Christmas special for patients and their families. There are decorations throughout the hospital, musicians on wards, and every patient receives a present on Christmas Day. It’s your generosity that makes all this possible.”
could buy presents for five patients who are too ill to be at home this Christmas.
could support anxious patients by helping to install a virtual LED skylight.
could help transform an outside space into a calming garden for patients and visitors.
could help to train and support more Patient Befriender Volunteers like Stewart.
As part of our Christmas appeal, we’d love if you could help us bring comfort and joy to the staff and volunteers at Southmead Hospital by leaving a message with your donation. Thank you.