Patients who have finished treatment for cancer at Basildon University Hospital can now mark the occasion with a bell ringing ceremony.
Staff on the hospital’s haematology day unit wanted to find a way for patients to symbolise this significant milestone. Ada Emerson, advanced health care assistant on the unit, contacted the national charity End of Treatment Bell, which aims to place bells into hospitals for children and adults with cancer to ring after their treatment.
One of the first patients to ring the end of treatment bell on the haematology day unit was Patricia Corben, aged 61 years. Patricia was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which is now in remission after treatment at Basildon Hospital. She rang the end of treatment bell and said a fond farewell to staff. She has now moved from Billericay to live on a farm in south Wales with her partner and their collie dogs.
She said: “The care here has been terrific; words can’t say how good it has been, and this is a nice ending to it.”
Yvette Diaz, sister, said: “We see what patients and their loved ones go through. Before when people ended treatment we would usually sing a song and give them a cuddle. We wanted to add something visual and symbolic to the moment.”
Ada added: “It’s a way of patients saying they have come through a battle and it makes the moment when they are ready to leave more special.”