In memory of Fiona: Wetherby family raise funds for children's hospice

A family are fund-raising in memory of a departed mother to aid a children's hospice in Wetherby and get people talking about what is a '˜good death,'

Tuesday, 21st March 2017, 2:09 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:03 am
Naomi Barrow in full mascot costume with her mother, Dr Fiona Hicks, at a fundraiser for Martin House Hospice for Children and Young People

Dr Fiona Hicks, otherwise known as Fiona Barrow, passed away in October 2015, aged 53. She was surrounded by her family and in her home after a long battle with breast cancer.

Dedicating her life to caring for patients at Martin House Hospice for Children and Young People she would later become a trustee for the hospice.

Now her family are aiming to raise £5,000 a year on from her passing to cover the costs of new lighting which will shine light on artwork hung in the corridors between children’s rooms. A fitting tribute for the bright personality they treasured Fiona for.

Her daughter Naomi said: “She worked at the hospice for a long time, I even remember going there a lot when I was younger. Because of this we know it really will help and it is a really positive thing to be able to help poorly children.

“The hospital just mentioned the lighting to us, although it is quite dark they are also hoping that it will show off art they have on the wall. For us we thought it would be fitting, mum was always so bright and positive, even towards the end.

“We are trying to get £5,000 and will be leaving it all to the hospice.”

Relatives in London have managed to raise £200 while a Justgiving page set up for the fund-raising has broken the £1500 mark.

Supporting charitable causes like Martin House and Yorkshire Cancer Research has helped the family in the short space of time since Fiona passed, getting together on the anniversary of her passing they agreed to pursue causes to honor her memory.

Reflecting on how her mum passed away Naomi realised what her experience across a lifetime of working in care had given the family, they could talk about the subject of death comfortably and they were able give her what she really wanted because of this.

Naomi said: I think mum was working in palliative care all her life, when she was dying I saw the importance of having a good death, she died at home and I thought it was so important to have that choice. You want to choose where you want to be and who you want to be with.

“I am not an expert but I think there have been improvements in how we approach end of life care but people do not talk enough about it. We were lucky because mum talked about it because of her work. For many people this is not the case.

“I talk about it quite a bit too and people do thank me for it. I think it is important to keep raising the subject and get it out there to stop it being such a taboo subject.”

The family have given thanks for the support they have already received and are requesting that in the build up to Mother's Day the cost of a card be donated to the fund.