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Saturday, 26 September 2020


Mary’s memory lives on thanks to Purple Butterfly Appeal donation

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A dedicated husband who never forgot the care and compassion showed for his wife as she passed away in the Purple Butterfly room at Rotherham Hospital has made a charity donation in her memory.

Tommy McKeiver, 82, of Boardman Avenue, Rawmarsh, sadly lost his wife Mary on 21 August 2019 after she suffered a brief illness. The couple, who were married for 56 years, were able to spend Mary’s final few hours surrounded by their two children, eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren in the Purple Butterfly room on Ward A2.

To commemorate the anniversary of her death, Tommy has donated £500 to the Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity’s Purple Butterfly Appeal.

Tommy said:

“I can’t thank the staff at Rotherham Hospital enough for allowing Mary time in the Purple Butterfly room. It meant everything to me and our family to be together when it really mattered the most. She was only in the room for three hours before she passed away but it meant we were away from the busy ward and could share that precious time with her.

“I felt much calmer as soon as she was in the Purple Butterfly room and I think Mary was more peaceful too. Obviously losing Mary still feels devastating and I talk to her every day but it made a tragic situation a little more bearable. I don’t know how I would have coped without my family around me when she passed away.

“Knowing I wanted to donate this money to the Purple Butterfly Appeal on the anniversary of her death has kept me going. It’s my way of remembering her and saying thank you to the doctors and nurses who cared for her and I will continue to donate every year.”

The charity set up the Purple Butterfly Appeal to help raise awareness about the importance of providing compassionate and specialist end of life care. The appeal was also set up to raise money to fund Purple Butterfly rooms, which provide privacy, dignity, space and a home-from-home for people nearing the end of their lives, their families, friends and carers.

The Trust already has three Purple Butterfly rooms at Rotherham Hospital on Ward A2, the Fitzwilliam Ward and the Labour Ward.

The Purple Butterfly rooms are private, comfortable and include all the necessary equipment and facilities patients and their families need to remain close to one another.

Martin Havenhand, Chairman of The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“The Purple Butterfly Appeal is the charity’s longest-standing fundraising appeal and we’re incredibly proud to have raised enough funds for three Purple Butterfly rooms which continue to provide comfort to people like Tommy.

“We’d like to thank Tommy and his family for donating to the appeal in memory of his wife Mary and to everyone who remembers their loved ones in this way. The funds we continue to receive will help to ensure the Purple Butterfly rooms are maintained for other families to share precious time with their loved ones when it really matters the most.”

For more information about the Purple Butterfly Appeal please visit http://www.therotherhamft.nhs.uk/Fundraising/The_Purple_Butterfly_Appeal/

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