We are very sad to hear that the Patron of Demelza Hospice Care for Children, Countess Mountbatten passed away at her home in Kent on 13th June.
Countess Mountbatten had been the Patron of Demelza Hospice Care for Children since the very beginning, having been invited to be part of charity by our founder, Derek Philips. She opened our first hospice in Kent today (15th June) in 1998.
The Countess was a tireless supporter and ambassador for Demelza Hospice Care for Children. The Countess showed enormous empathy for our work and as a survivor of an IRA bomb that killed her father and her twin son, her strength of character always shone through.
Derek Philips, our founder said “It is one of my life’s greatest privileges to have worked with Countess Mountbatten and I became to know her as a dear friend. She became involved at a very early stage and when she heard of what we are trying to achieve at Demelza, she agreed to support us immediately. She had a true understanding of bereavement. She was humble, gracious and a simply lovely Lady.”
In 2003 The Countess wrote:
To know that you are to lose someone you love at a young age is terrible and the death of your child is possibly the most intensely shocking and overwhelming experience you can ever endure. However, those caring for the children and families during this time, often over several years, can give a very welcome source of strength and support. Families who come to Demelza know that their care and wellbeing is just as important following the death of a child and bereavement care is available for as long as members of the family need it.
On a personal level, although it is now 12 years since my small granddaughter died after a brave year’s battle with a kidney tumour and much suffering, I am still deeply touched if someone tells me how sorry they are, or if they acknowledge my loss in some way. It may seem like a small gesture – but to me it means the world because it means that my granddaughter has not been forgotten.
Despite the suffering, the atmosphere at Demelza is nevertheless one of happiness and loving care thanks to the very remarkable team of nurses, staff and volunteers who work there.”
Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the Countess Mountbatten at this very sad time.