Critical Care Garden official opening
On Friday 24 November we saw the official opening of our Critical Care Garden at Hinchingbrooke Hospital, by the Mayor of Godmanchester, thanks to a grant from Tesco Bags of Help fund and volunteers from Godmanchester in Bloom.
The once overgrown garden has now been turned into a beautiful, peaceful space specifically for the families of patients in Critical Care, where they can take a break from what can be an incredibly stressful situation.
This is a situation that Jenny Goodman was in earlier in the year when her husband of 35 years, Keith Goodman, 74, became unwell and ended up on life support in Critical Care.
Jenny said: “Keith had a fall at home in April 2017 and didn’t get any better from then on. In May he took a turn for the worse and we took him to the Emergency Department at Hinchingbrooke Hospital and he then went into Critical Care.
“I stayed with him all the time and would talk to him at his bedside, but when I needed a moment to calm myself, the garden was my go-to place. It was an opportunity to have some time out and to meet with other family members who were going through the same horrendous experience that I was going through.
“Staff in the centre were amazing and so supportive and if they saw me in the garden, they would come out and check that I was ok.”
On 20 June Keith passed away. Jenny managed to raise £500 in donations from friends and colleagues and has bought a memorial bench with Keith’s name engraved on it, which will be located in the Critical Care garden.
Corin Prunty, Matron for Theatres and Critical Care, said: “We are incredibly grateful to Godmanchester in Bloom and Jenny for their help and support in making our garden look so lovely. Having a family member in Critical Care puts a massive strain on individuals, and we welcome the chance to be able to offer them the opportunity to take a break from the situation. We are really looking forward to seeing the garden in full bloom when spring arrives.”
John Thackray, Chairman of Godmanchester in Bloom, said: “It has been an honour and a privilege to help improve the garden. We know that it will help to lift the spirits of the family members of patients in Critical Care at a time when they can feel vulnerable and very low.”