Swanage family left devastated by Christmas loss backs NHS campaign

A SWANAGE family left devastated by loss is urging people to remember lost loved ones – and help the NHS – this festive season.

The University Hospitals Dorset NHS Charity has launched the 2023 Light Up Our Tree Christmas campaign, giving people the chance to dedicate candle decorations on display at Poole, Christchurch and Royal Bournemouth Hospitals.

For a small donation, the charity is inviting everybody across Dorset and the surrounding areas to make a donation and write the names of loved ones on a candle decoration.

Among those taking part is Aimee Aldersley, of Bournemouth, who will be remembering both parents this Christmas.

Last year, 37-year-old Aimee and her twin sister spent Christmas Day visiting their dad at Poole Hospital, hoping to share Christmas video messages from their brother, the grandchildren and family and friends.

Sadly, he was unresponsive until New Year’s Eve.

After seven months in Critical Care, the stroke ward and the Acute Brain Injury Unit, their dad passed away on Sunday, January 15.

The devastating news came just two years after their mum also passed away, on Friday, December 10, after living with Amyloidosis, Myeloma and kidney failure.

While both parents passed away for different illnesses and in different ways, the care they received from University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust is something that will never be forgotten, Aimee said.

“Throughout the Covid pandemic, the medical team did all they could to get mum home for her palliative care just like she wanted and the staff on the Portland Ward cared for dad until his very last moments,” she said.

“In such difficult circumstances we grew close to everybody on the wards and depended on them more than ever.

“Losing not just one parent but two in almost two years is unimaginable. We still can’t believe it.

“If you have ever lost a loved one and would like to show your support to NHS staff who help people like mum and dad every day, please donate today.

“Our irreplaceable memories are with us every day, but this candle will represent the light they have left behind in our hearts.”

People can make their donation and candle dedication at

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