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Georgi Baker, sister of Kellie ‘Kel’ Hayes, who sadly passed away at Michael Sobell Hospice in November 2020, after battling cervical cancer, aged just 38, speaks candidly about the care she experienced during her final months.  

 “Kel had a short stay in Michael Sobell Hospice in early 2020 as she was very poorly and needed treatment and medical advice which the hospice gave to her. During her stay there she decided that when it was ‘her time to go’ and this is where she wanted to be. I didn’t understand at first but once Kel showed me around the Unit and I met the staff, I started to understand. It was such a beautiful place, and the staff were so very caring. She was then discharged with a treatment plan, and we got to spend several wonderful months with her.   

When Kel became too poorly to be treated at home she decided to return to the hospice where she stayed in the in-patient unit for eight weeks before she passed away. The care was second-to-none; simply amazing. Kel was a very proud, strong woman, and the staff treated her with the upmost respect and allowed her to be in control of everything which was very important to her and to us. She also loved nature and photographing nature, she loved watching the birds in the hospice garden, the gardener even moved the bird feeder next to her window so she could watch them from her room, and she would send photos of the birds to our family group chat daily, it really did lift her spirits.  

We cannot thank the staff enough for the incredible care that they gave to Kel, nothing was ever too much, they allowed her to do as she wished, they shared every emotion with us and supported Kel and our family from start to finish, and for that we will always be truly grateful.” 

In honour of Kel, and to celebrate her life, Georgi and her family organised a special fundraising event which took place in November 2021 at the Hayes Working Men’s Club. Here she explains a little more about the evening. 

“The Great Gatsby Fundraiser event, attended by family and friends of Kel, was organised in memory of my sister because she truly deserved a good send-off which we couldn’t do at the time due to the pandemic and restrictions. It raised an amazing £7171.00 through ticket donations, a raffle, and an auction, with prizes kindly donated by locally based businesses.  

“I’d like to say a big thank you to Hayes Working Men’s Club, which kindly let us use the hall for free, and to all those who donated raffle and auction prizes, and who came along and supported the event. Kel would have loved it.”  

Words by Georgi Baker