Nurse Maxine turns thrill-seeker to support St Catherine’s Hospice
A St Catherine’s Hospice nurse, who also experienced the charity’s first-class care when her family needed support, is taking on a daring challenge to support the cause which is so close to her heart.
Maxine Concannon works with a team of eight as a Clinical Nurse Specialist, caring for people in their own homes and in the community.
She has also praised the ‘excellent’ care the staff gave her late father Harry Crowther when he stayed in the inpatient unit in December 2014.
Now, after witnessing first-hand how the charity makes such a difference to people’s lives, she’s vowed to take to the skies and complete a thrilling skydive to raise vital funds.
“I’ve seen what the hospice does from both sides of the fence,” she said. “And skydiving is something I’ve always wanted to do – it’s a ‘bucket list’ type of thing.
“When I saw that the hospice was hosting another skydiving day, I signed up straight away. I’d wanted to do it last year but it filled up really quickly and there weren’t any spaces left.
“I hate heights, so I am nervous, but also really excited! The only thing I can think to compare it to is when I went paragliding on holiday once – I was floating through the sky like a bird – I loved it.
“My colleagues are getting a bit worried for me, and are saying they’ll pay me not to do it! But my patients are really supportive and a few have said they’ll sponsor me, which is great.”
Maxine, a mum-of-three who lives with her husband Mark in Hutton, added: “I always knew that the staff in the inpatient unit were fantastic, but to actually be on the other side, as a family member when my dad died here, was very strange, but also very reassuring. They really are brilliant.
“People work here because they really want to; it’s not just a job.
“To give something back to the organisation, whilst also fulfilling something from my personal wish-list, will just be amazing.”
Maxine visits people in their own homes, as well as rest and care homes, to provide specialist symptom control and emotional support where a GP or other health professional has determined that the input from a Clinical Nurse Specialist would be beneficial to the patient.
“It’s a fabulous team to work with,” Maxine added. “It’s a very rewarding job and a real privilege.
“People often say that it must be a sad job, and it can be upsetting, because you do get attached to people. But it’s so rewarding, and if you know that you’ve been able to provide support to patients and their families in an environment they’re comfortable in, in the place where they want to be in their final days, then you know you’ve done your job.”
There are still a few places left for the St Catherine’s Skydive, which takes place on Saturday, September 10 at Black Knight’s Parachute Centre in Lancaster. People are asked to raise a minimum of £395 in sponsorship to take part, and no prior experience is needed.
St Catherine’s fundraiser Emma Jacovelli said: “Our skydive days are always really popular and are a great way for people to have fun, test their limits and really get their adrenaline going, whilst raising money for a really worthy cause.
“All of the sponsorship money will be used to help fund the specialist care provided by St Catherine’s – here at the hospice in Lostock Hall as well as out in the community through Maxine and her team – for people with life-shortening illnesses such as cancer, Motor Neurone Disease, and heart failure.
“We need to raise £3.7m every single year to run the charity, and it wouldn’t be possible without the generosity of our wonderful supporters. The fact that Maxine not only puts her heart and soul into caring for people through her day job, but is also facing her fear of heights to raise funds for the charity, is incredible.
“I’m sure she’ll have a brilliant time, and I’d really encourage anyone else keen to take to the skies for St Catherine’s to sign up now!
To bag a place, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01772 629171.
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