Lauren's Story - Isabel Hospice

Lauren’s Story

When Lauren Wallace returned to Isabel Hospice to say thank you to our "lovely nurses" who had cared for her late Father, she was not only greeted by our staff, but also by a friendly squirrel.

This was especially pertinent to Lauren and her younger brother Cameron, as she explains: “My Dad used to read my younger brother a bedtime story called Sammy The Squirrel and his Nuts. It was a funny story and that was my dad’s sense of humour.

“In the Memory Book Cam, who is now 14, wrote a note to say, ‘if you want to come back Dad come back as a squirrel and say hello however squirrels do’. And we literally arrived to bring a thank you gift to the hospice and a squirrel ran into the building.”

Lauren’s Dad, Darren was admitted to Isabel Hospice in July after a short battle with Oesophageal Cancer. He spent six days with the charity before peacefully slipping away on July 12th, two days after his 56th birthday.

Lauren added: “He thought he was coming to the hospice for two or three weeks and then he would come home again. I don’t think he realised until the last day or two what was happening. He really liked the mechanical chairs, and he was sat on one of them going back and forth and he commented that he would prefer a chair to a bed when he came home.”

While in the hospice’s care, Darren was often greeted by a squirrel in the garden of the room he was staying in.

Lauren added: “When the squirrel ran into the building it felt like Dad saying hi, I’m still here. And it’s comforting to believe that.”

Lauren spoke of how the hospice arranged for Darren to go home for his birthday, however when he was too ill to make the journey they instead arranged a special party, allowing the family to celebrate his birthday and following that, the family were able to say their goodbyes.

Darren took early retirement from his work as a Maintenance Operations Manager when he was diagnosed last year. He had lived in Hertfordshire all his life and his work had taken him all over the country with the John Lewis Partnership and more recently Debenhams.

Lauren, originally from Welwyn Garden City, now resides in Sheffield and works as a Chartered Surveyor.