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17 April 2024

Hospice Lottery winner, 98: "I've always supported St Michael's, and I won't stop now"

Dorothy Johnson's daughter died at St Michael's 20 years ago

A mother whose daughter died at St Michael’s 20 years ago says she will never forget the kindness shown to her family by the charity.

Dorothy Johnson’s daughter, Helen, died from brain cancer in 2004 aged just 46.

Each year, Dorothy makes several donations to St Michael’s, as well as being a regular St Michael’s Hospice Lottery player, and says she will “continue to donate to the Hospice as long as I live”.

“I will never forget the kindness everyone at St Michael’s showed towards Helen, and us all,” said Dorothy, who is 98.

“I have very fond memories of visiting her at the Hospice. I knew she was happy there, and looked after so well.”
Dorothy’s links to St Michael’s pre-date the charity itself as it was her husband’s company – Johnson, Blight and Dees – which designed the original building well over 40 years ago.

Ted died in 2011, and Dorothy describes him as “the most wonderful man in the world”.

“Every year, on Ted and Helen’s birthday, I donate to St Michael’s. I do the same for both of them at Christmas. It’s my way of saying thank you to a wonderful cause.”

Helen was a teacher at a university in Abu Dhabi. While over there, she developed brain cancer and came back to England. She was cared for at St Michael’s but then returned to her parents’ home. However, as the condition deteriorated, she was brought back to St Michael’s.

Dorothy’s daughter, Helen, pictured (above) at St Michael’s

“At the end, she couldn’t really communicate but the nursing staff assured us that she knew we were there beside her,” added Dorothy. “We just told her how much we loved her, and how much she would be missed. Her little girl was just seven at the time. She’s now pregnant with her own child, Helen’s grandchild. She would have been so proud.”

Helen’s popularity in Abu Dhabi resulted in an event being held over there in her memory, with several thousand pounds donated to St Michael’s as a result.

As well as the regular donations, Dorothy used to hold coffee mornings for St Michael’s. She also plays the St Michael’s Hospice Lottery and last week became our latest jackpot winner, receiving a cheque for £1,000.

“It was a wonderful surprise. St Michael’s has always been the charity I’ve supported the most, and I won’t be stopping now.”

She says she will use some of the money towards a hotel stay this Christmas to see members of her family who are visiting from abroad, including Helen’s grandchild.

“We know she’s having a boy, and they’re coming over from Australia and staying near London. It’ll be the only time I ever get to see him, so I’m glad the money from St Michael’s will make this possible.”

To join Dorothy in playing the St Michael’s Hospice Lottery, where you’ll be in with a chance of winning £1,000, plus other cash prizes, each Friday, just click here

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