Tribute fund to raise cash for end of life care room
08 June 2017
Southend Hospital’s palliative care team held information events during Dying Matters Week (8-14 May) to encourage patients, carers and the local community to talk more openly about dying, death and bereavement.
This proved to be the catalyst for Laura Braley, 45, to take
positive action to deal with the loss of her husband Mark.
Mark was just 48 when he succumbed to pancreatic cancer in
November 2016 and Laura vowed to create a tribute fund in Mark's
In conjunction with Southend Hospital Charity, the Mark Braley
Tribute Fund was officially launched on 3 June at a private event
held at Laura's home in Hadleigh where she was surrounded by her
son Jack, 20, and family and friends. The fund aims to raise money
for an End of Life (EOL) care room at Southend Hospital to help
ease the pain and stress of others who will inevitably go through
the same trauma of caring for and losing a loved one.
During his final weeks Mark was cared for in his home by both
Laura and a palliative care team but, for some families, caring for
a loved one at home is not a suitable option. This can be due to a
variety of reasons such as lack of space for a hospital bed and
machinery, or the patient and spouse being elderly and frail. Some
families have young children at home and don't want them to
Laura admitted: "I can't even begin to imagine how it must feel
to have to leave your loved one in hospital because there are no
facilities provided for you to stay. Sitting in a plastic chair
around a hospital bed with only the curtain for privacy isn't good
This is where an EOL room can help as it provides comfort,
privacy and dignity for the patient and their loved ones. It means
someone can be with the patient at all times and there will be
facilities for friends and families to use during their stay.
Laura added: "If we can provide a room which perhaps has a fold
down bed, a comfy recliner chair, a tea and coffee station, a place
where people can call 'home' for however long its needed, you are
left with what really matters; being there for your loved ones. It
will alleviate stress and if we can help just one family then, for
me, Mark hasn't died in vain."
If you would like to donate to The Mark Braley Tribute Fund and
help Southend Hospital create an End of Life care room, you can do
so by visiting the official tribute fund page.