Published Monday 16th February 2015

Nurses and Health Care Assistants also got involved by dressing the table and making decorations, which they used to transform the Orchard Room at St Michael’s into a delightful pop-up restaurant in which they later waited on their VIP guests.

Hospice Cook Nikki Legge said, ‘We get to know our patients very well and we knew how important Valentine’s was to Mike and Dawn, so we all worked together to help create a special night for both couples. Everyone got behind the idea to help make it happen and the evening was an example of how St Michael’s staff are passionate about helping people to enjoy life to the full.’

Mike Sloan, 57 and from Hereford, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in June 2013 and has been attending the Day Hospice at St Michael’s Hospice for 10 months. Recently he was admitted as an inpatient after receiving therapy in Cheltenham. ‘Having the support of St Michael’s has been very important and coming to the Day Hospice meant I could get out of the house and meet like-minded people. I was also able to receive complementary therapies, which have been tremendous in helping me to relax and cope with my illnesses.’

Mike kept the evening a secret from his wife Elisa, who said, ‘When I arrived I couldn’t believe what everyone had done, it all looked amazing. What made the evening even more special was that I fell in love with Mike when I was fundraising for Marie Curie Cancer Care in Sainsbury’s and he signed up to a regular giving scheme. So actually being on the receiving end of truly exceptional care is very moving. I would like to let people know that donations to charities like St Michael’s are very much appreciated. The evening is one that I will never forget and I have kept all the decorations the staff dressed the table with: I will treasure them for the rest of my life.’

Dawn Johnston was diagnosed with ovarian cancer eight years ago and has been supported by St Michaels Hospice for the past four years. ‘I have had lots of support coming to the Living Well clinic and when my cancer spread and it became difficult for me to walk, I came in as an inpatient. Things have been really difficult over the last few months for Dean and me, so the night meant so much to us both. Everything was lovely, the steak, the champagne and the beautiful flowers that were given to us by the Hibiscus Room made the evening perfect. I would like to thank everyone who has supported St Michael’s Hospice and made it possible for me to have the support of such a caring team of people.’

If you would like to find out more about the care St Michael’s Hospice provides the local community or you would like to make a regular donation, please call St Michael’s Hospice on 01432 85100.

Photo l-r Mike Sloan, Elisa Sloan, Dawn Johnston and Dean Johnston