Celebrate the life of a loved one this Christmas

Jean, Thomas and all their children – Thomas, Trevor, Jason, Mark, Jordan, Matthew, Nathan and Gail -pictured in 2006.

Fermanagh mother-of-eight Jean Woods, who lost her beloved husband Thomas to Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma five years ago, is encouraging the local community to remember their loved ones during the festive period by sponsoring a light on the Hospice Christmas tree.

The switch on of this year’s lights will take place at the front of Castlecoole House on the Castlecoole Estate on Tuesday next, 12th December at 7pm.


Thomas Woods, a painter and decorator by trade from Lack, was in the process of building a new house when he was suddenly diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in July 2010. After 18 months of intensive chemotherapy treatment in the Oncology Unit in Belfast City Hospital, Thomas sadly passed away in February 2012.

Jean, who has had previous experience of Northern Ireland Hospice care when her mum passed in 2004, contacted Janet Kilfedder, Northern Ireland Hospice Nurse Specialist, who provided Thomas and his family with advice, guidance and round-the-clock expert care and support.

Approaching the end of his treatment, it became evident that Thomas’s condition was incurable and he was adamant that he wanted to be cared for in the comfort of his own home, surrounded by his family and friends.

With the help of Janet, Thomas’s GP, the District Nurse, Rapid Response team and Marie Curie they made it possible for Thomas to be cared for at home.

Jean describes NI Hospice Nurse Specialist, Janet, as a “walking, talking angel sent from heaven”.

She added: “Northern Ireland Hospice were invaluable, they managed Thomas’s condition and provided our entire family circle with emotional support.

Christmas is a very difficult and lonely time for us – but we are looking forward to attending the annual Lights to Remember celebration as we remember Thomas and the lives of those precious to us.


I do hope you’ll be able to be a part of this wonderful occasion with us shining a light for our loved ones”.

Upon arrival on Tuesday evening, guests will receive a memory tag where they will be invited to write a personal message of love and remembrance. The tags will be prominently displayed on the Hospice Christmas tree over the Christmas holidays. Warming drinks and refreshments will be served after at the Westville Hotel, Enniskillen.

Funds raised from this year’s Lights to Remember appeal will enable Northern Ireland Hospice and Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice to continue to provide babies, children and adults with specialist palliative care.

If you follow the steps on our website to make a donation or you are welcome to bring your donation along on the night and fill in and hang your tag to the tree personally.

For more information on how you can sponsor a light on the Hospice Christmas tree, please visit , email or call Heather on: 07711377338.

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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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