Willow blog

“My Willow Special Treat really put a smile on my face”

May 12, 2021

Shannon has cystic fibrosis and is currently receiving palliative care. This is the story of how a Willow Special Treat lifted her spirits and put a smile back on her face.

I have cystic fibrosis (CF) which is currently at end stage so I am receiving palliative care and have been in the hospice since January.  I originally went in for the first time last November and managed to get home for Christmas then back to the hospice.

I haven’t always been this sick, although I have always had CF. I would go into hospital every three months for two weeks sometimes sooner but I worked around that.

I managed to get my HND in Hospitality and Management. Whilst at college I loved to go out almost every weekend. I had a lot of fun and then I got my first job in a hotel which I loved.  I met my boyfriend there and everything went well – I got a taste of independence, but was still in and out of hospital although nothing too serious. Then after about a year and a half of working I moved to a hotel in Glasgow, worked there for a few months but was feeling terrible so went to hospital.

My lung capacity had been sitting at 19% with no chance of it going up. I was heartbroken and was in hospital for twelve weeks. I lost it all,  my job, my boyfriend, and my independence. It was time to move back in with my mum as I was now under palliative care. I knew my mum would take the best care of me.

Fast forward a few years, doctors thinking I was going to die, needing constant 24 hour oxygen and having to sleep with a niv machine.  We did have a few close calls but now I’m here in the hospice with a lung function that sits around 12% on a good day. It is not a good position to be in but I am so close to both my mum and sister that there is nothing I can’t get through without them. So that’s our wee home now: me, my mum, my sister and our dog Rogue.

Receiving my Willow Special Treat has really lifted my spirit and put a smile on my face. It has lovely stuff in it that I had wanted for ages like a sleep spray for my pillow and a diary to write all my feelings down in.  I always have a diary at home but haven’t had one since I’ve been in the hospice for the last seven weeks so I like to write down when I’m anxious and scared.

Every week 400 young adults under 40 enter end of life or palliative care. Willow urgently needs your support so that we can send Special Treats to everyone who needs one. Share some sunshine this spring and donate today.