A mother struggled to find which way to turn after a series of family turmoils culminated with the death of her 27-year-old son from a brain tumour.
Kim Heron’s thrill of a new life in Canada with her husband and three children was shattered when her son Josh was diagnosed less than a year later with a brain tumour.
But when she brought Josh home for treatment the family split up for various reasons and and her father died so Kim’s world tumbled upside down.
She said: “Everything seemed to happen all at once and it was hard to cope. Once back home three years ago this Christmas I had to become Josh’s carer until he died last New Year’s Eve.”
“During his illness we had received help from Pendleside Hospice first they gave us financial advice and later Josh was cared for by the Hospice At Home service.
“All of that was fantastic but the help Pendleside’s Family Support Unit gave me has saved my life. Even before Josh passed away I received counselling and reflexology sessions and after his death I met their counsellor Ken Mitchell who I have so much to thank for.”
Kim added: “I had been for counselling else where before but Ken was different. He some how related to my issues straight away and I felt so comfortable and took so much on board from our sessions.
“I feel a massive difference in myself. He has given me simple things to work with like drawings he has done for me to pin up at home. And when I am feeling down I can look at the pictures and tools he has given me and relate them to things we have talked about.”
In Canada Josh, a keen sportsman who had played cricket for Pendleside Forest, had become a ski instructor after first working for the post office. Back in Burnley he felt embarrassed going to the gym because of his condition so used the small gym at Pendleside which was also a boost to the family.
Kim said: “Pendleside have been there for us in so many ways and what is so incredible is that all the services we received are free of charge.”
With the Christmas period approaching and being a time when emotions run high and people can sometimes feel to be at their loneliest the Pendleside counselling team is running special sessions.
Christmas Support: Are you worried about how you and your family are going to cope this Christmas? If you would just like to talk to someone, confidentially, who might be able to help you through your worries arrange a time by ringing Family Support on 01282 440102.