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John’s 12 Days of Christmas

27 September 2022

Christmas has come early for one of our patients!

John Rastall, who is staying in our Inpatient Unit (IPU) at John Taylor Hospice, wanted nothing more than to celebrate Christmas this year.

Hospice teams decided to bring the festivities forward a few months to ensure John had his time to shine.

For the past 12 days, John has enjoyed festive gifts and treats until ‘Christmas Day’ came on Monday, September 26th.

The team decorated his room with a Christmas tree, advent calendar and festive decorations.

Mary Moorehouse, Discharge Coordinator, said the teams just wanted to make John’s time at the hospice as special as possible.

“John mentioned it to someone that he wanted to make sure he celebrated Christmas this year,” she explained. “So, we discussed it as a team and decided to bring his Christmas forward.

“Our whole team have gotten really involved and we have had gifts donated from our IPU colleagues, their partners, and families and from teams across the hospice.

“John is a fantastic artist and will even be designing some Christmas cards for us which is wonderful.”

On September 26th, the teams planned a big festive celebration for John.

From snow machines to blow-up snowmen, and a turkey dinner to the real-life Santa Claus, John’s day was filled with joy thanks to hospice teams.

The day started when John woke up in his festive duvet covers and new onesie and enjoyed a tasty Christmas dinner at lunchtime, provided by the Catering Team. He even had second helpings of turkey!

Then he went outside where a big Christmas surprise was waiting for him. Staff from the hospice had gotten dressed up as Santa Claus, an elf, a snowman and even Mickey and Minnie made an appearance – all to put a smile on John’s face.

After the fun in the snow, it was present time. The IPU and Housekeeping Teams and a variety of wonderful people from across the hospice had brought John presents including lots of beautiful art sets with pencils, pens and drawing equipment.

Mary added: “Thank you to everyone who got involved and helped us pull it off. We love to make dreams come true here.

“We have had so many donations and gifts dropped off from people in the local community, it has been amazing.

“It has all been worth it to see John’s face and see him enjoying himself.”

John said he loved the surprise and couldn’t believe how much had been done for him.

He said: “I feel really lucky, everyone has been really kind. All my presents are amazing, thank you.”

We would like to say the biggest thank you to everyone who helped – including West Midlands Inflatables who lent us the snow machine, and Gavin and Tracy Gittins for the festive inflatable characters. Thanks also go to Creations by Carla for the delicious cakes, Michelle Rimmer for the generous chocolate display and all our fabulous colleagues who helped in any way.