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Family say they are better carers to son thanks to St Oswald's support

THIS Hospice Care Week we're highlighting the one of a kind services we provide at the heart of the North East.

Our short break Children and Young Adults Service has helped parents of 19 year old Fraser Carr, from Whickham, Gateshead, to become better carers thanks to regular support.

Fraser, who is living with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a degenerative and life-limiting condition, has been using St Oswald’s Hospice’s service since the end of 2018. Less than a year later, his parents talk about how we have supported the whole family by providing short breaks and helping them to create unforgettable memories."

Julia, Fraser’s mum, said:

“Because of Fraser’s complex condition, he needs medical support and we know that’s provided at St Oswald’s as the staff have the specialist skills to look after him.

“More than that, Fraser gets a lot socially from St Oswald’s too. He really enjoys getting to know the staff who all make time for him. There is always something going on; singing, crafts, cookery, to name just a few.  Fraser also loves his time with the music therapist and we have noticed he’s picked up some musical ability!

“When we pick up Fraser from his short break he is smiling, happy and relaxed, and we instantly know how much he has enjoyed his stay.

“Outside of his two night stay, there is a social group just for young adults who access the hospice services. So far Fraser has been to a BBQ, afternoon tea, murder mystery evening and we even got to go out on a Catamaran boat earlier this summer. These are experiences that don’t happen every day and things that a 19 year old should be doing.

“Although Fraser gets a lot out of coming to St Oswald’s, so do my husband Phil and I. Last weekend when Fraser was at the hospice we got to go away on a coastal break and have time together which we don’t often get to do."

Phil, Fraser’s dad, added:

“St Oswald’s isn’t a frightening place as we thought a hospice would be. When Fraser was first diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, we knew that Fraser would reach the stage eventually when he would need hospice care. We shouldn’t have been worried because as soon as we stepped in to St Oswald’s we realised that it isn’t at all like we thought hospice care would be. The staff are brilliant, and a lot of fun too.”