A widow has spoken out about how North Devon Hospice’s Nightwalk event will help families like hers.
Natasha Porter is sharing her story to remind people how vital the event on May 18 will be to help families coping with a terminal diagnosis.
In 2017 Natasha’s husband, Dan Porter, was diagnosed with cancer and given just months to live.
The happiness of family life with their four young children was shattered. It was then that North Devon Hospice entered their lives in the shape of specialist community nurse, Jackie Cockwill.
Natasha, 35, from Hartland said: “I was so scared. But once I made contact with Jackie, I just felt safe.
“My husband was having his needs met, being cared for at home. I knew he was safe, and that I could also care for my children at the same time.”
When Dan’s condition deteriorated he was admitted to the hospice’s bedded unit, allowing the family to make more special memories together.
She added: “My children were able to sit on Daddy’s knee, they were able to do their homework with him at the hospice.
“They’re going to remember the beautiful days they spent there with their dad.”
Dan died on the bedded unit, in the arms of his loving wife. North Devon Hospice was there to support the Porter family every step of the way.
“To have the care from every single person in the hospice was unbelievable.” said Natasha.
“I’m forever grateful that I can look back and feel some warmth and comfort, that everything was OK. And if that was OK, then moving forward is going to be OK too.
“My children weren’t scared at the hospice, and that is something I’m truly thankful for. They’re going to remember the beautiful days they spent there with their dad.”
Natasha shared her experience as Nighwalk approaches, knowing that all funds raised will help the hospice care for other local families going through the same tough times.
Ali Hunt, from North Devon Hospice’s fundraising team, said that the Porter family story is a reminder of why Nightwalk is so vital.
“The bravery of Natasha and her children to share their story is simply inspirational.” she said.
“It hits home that there are local families going through very dark times, but that North Devon Hospice can be a light in this darkness.
“But we can only do this with the support of local people.
“So I would say to my fellow North Devon ladies, please sign up to Nightwalk, as it’s a fantastic way to help us care for the 2,000+ people every year who rely on the hospice.”
Nightwalk is on Saturday, May 18, offering routes along the Tarka Trail of three, seven or 11 miles, with start points at Barnstaple, Instow, Bideford and Torrington.
Sign up now at www.nightwalk.co.uk