Garden for Queen Alexandra Hospital patients opens in tribute to Portsmouth radiographer who dreamed up the idea before she died
A GARDEN for cancer patients has been named in tribute to the radiographer who fundraised to get it open before she died from metastatic breast cancer.
Sarah McCarthy, a planning superintendent radiographer at Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust, dreamed of opening a garden for radiotherapy and chemotherapy patients to relax in and help grow crops during their treatment at Queen Alexandra Hospital.
The mum helped raise more than £1,000 for the garden – even after she was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in 2017 and retired from the trust in 2018 – through pub quizzes and other fundraisers.
Earlier this year Sarah died after a decline her health and, in her honour, the team decided to call it Sarah’s Garden.
At the opening of the garden by chief executive Mark Cubbon, Sarah’s daughter Lottie said: ‘This garden was a project of my mum's that she had been planning for many years. Before she passed away, I helped her write down the flowers, herbs, and plants that she would like to be included and grown in the garden.
‘It's a beautiful place for hospital patients, as well as family and friends to go and remember her. She would be very proud of everything her colleagues have done for her, and my family and I would like to thank them for bringing her ideas to life.’
In total £2,500 was raised for the garden through the Portsmouth Hospitals Charity Cancer Services Charitable Fund, including by Kim Sanderson, radiotherapy services manager for the department, who raised £1,000 by getting her long hair cut short.
Kim added: ‘We are really pleased that Sarah’s garden is now complete. Emma Middleton, senior radiographer has put a lot of hard work into getting the garden looking as good as it does, for which I am truly grateful.
‘It is sad that Sarah is no longer with us to see the outcome of her project, but it means a lot to the staff in the department that we were able to fulfil her wishes. We are looking forward to it being a calm and relaxing space for our patients and our staff.
Southern Window and General Cleaning company landscaped the garden, Whittle Interiors provided the signs, Engie hung the signs as well as funding and fitting the trellis and vehicle company Pario also supported the project.
Radiographers on the department are currently looking after the garden but it is expected that radiotherapy and chemotherapy patients will maintain it in the future.