A BELL for cancer patients to ring at the end of their hospital treatment has been installed so they can share a symbolic moment, with loved ones and staff, and embrace moving on with their lives.
Former Spire Portsmouth patient Emma Pope donated the bell to the private hospital after seeing one at a place her mother was treated.
The mother-of-three completed her treatment for breast cancer in November and said ringing the bell is a chance for patients to take a moment, and say, “I’ve done it!”.
Emma took her children to the hospital’s cancer unit so they could understand the experience she was going through.
Emma said: ‘They really looked after me so I thought it would be a nice gesture to do something celebratory to mark the end of treatment for people.
‘I was the first person they rang the bell for. All the staff gathered round and they rang the bell three times and a poem was read out.
‘I thought I would be ok but was very emotional on my final day of treatment and cried the whole day. The staff were like my family for the last 18 months.’
Kyrstyna Jenkins became the fourth person to ring the new end-of-treatment bell following the completion of her treatment for bowel cancer.
The retired primary lecturer wrote a moving poem which is displayed alongside the bell, inspired by the conversations she had had with the nurses during her treatment visits.
Her husband Christopher used his own creative talents to handcraft the rope pull for the bell.
Krystyna said: ‘I can’t wait to get out into my garden and find myself again.
‘The oncology team is absolutely first rate – they hold your hand through the treatment and were fantastic throughout.
’I cannot sing their praises enough; I was very fortunate to have these incredible women by my side as I battled cancer.’
Cancer lead nurse Kate Garaty said: ‘Ringing the bell is a great way for patients to mark the end of their treatment with us and for all of the team to share the moment and send the patient on their way with our best wishes for the future.’