Hannah's 21st


Hannah's 21st

The Inpatient Unit staff at ACCORD support Alison to have her daughter Hannah's 21st Birthday at the Hospice.

In the middle of April this year we admitted Alison (Hannah’s mum) into our inpatient unit. Alison had been diagnosed with breast cancer in October of 2016 which she bravely fought with chemotherapy and radiotherapy. While wearing her ‘Wonder Woman’ tiara she was given the great news that she had overcome her cancer and was then in remission. Unfortunately she then had a recurrence in March 20.

Husband Gordon at this stage took early retirement and was to remain a rock at Alison’s side with children Andrew and Hannah making up this family unit.  Alison loved having her family around every day.  From that point on the family continued to live life to the fullest making the most of all their precious times together, including overnight stays in their favourite hotel in Prestwick.

Alison was always keen to put her family first. As time progressed and through treatment the family continued to live life to the fullest with two exciting things happening in December. 1st a new member of the family was introduced, the lovely puppy dog called “Maisie” who became the love of everyone’s lives and then the renewal of Alison & Gordon’s wedding vows on 31st December. Unfortunately due to Covid this had to be done over Zoom, however it was thoroughly enjoyed by all their family and friends.


Throughout this time her family had done an amazing job to support Alison to stay at home. However in April 2021 changes in Alison’s wellbeing made this impractical to remain at home and she came into ACCORD’S Inpatient Unit where they still made every effort to live life to the fullest. Not only were Alison’s needs met but those of her family to as they participated in relaxation and became regulars in ACCORD’s community zoom calls.

We were all immediately blown away by how courageous Alison was, expressing her next goal which was for her daughter Hannah to have the very best 21st birthday. Alison and her family talked about this to the team at ACCORD with ideas, plans and wishes bounced around on a regular basis.

As time passed by and Alison’s Condition changed we started to discuss with the family having an early birthday party, so Alison could still be very much involved in.  Alison, Gordon and Andrew started hatching a plan to get Hannah a wee red Mini, which Alison was bursting to share and tell her about. 

On the 10th of May it was decided that (keeping within the current Covid guidelines) we would go ahead with this early surprise party. You can imagine the surprise was also on us when due to the date of arrival of the mini this party was to be within the week.

So in true ACCORD fashion we rose to the challenge. With the ideas coming from the Inpatient Unit staff and the practical application coming from our very talented ‘Umatter’ team, the plan was sure to be a success, with an outcome of a beautiful party room with balloons and fairy lights. This was all complimented with an afternoon tea, Victorian style including Alison’s favourite strawberry tarts. . By this time we were very aware that Hannah loved the chewy sweets ‘Percy Pigs’ and just look at these are amazing sweetie carts with individual bags, we prepared earlier’. Before you knew it even our chief exec was involved and we ended up with a Percy Pig birthday cake as well. 

Alison, Gordon and Andrew were fully involved along theway, obtaining the most beautiful full size picture poster of Hannah made by a family friend, which finished off the room. Invitations were created and delivered to a small group of close family members who could attend, ‘the day was soon to be upon us’.
Alison had a lovely relaxing morning with the IPU staff, comprising of firstly a long lie with her pink eye-mask insitu, listening to her favourite ABBA music, followed by a lovely leg massage with her cocoa body lotion. Stage 2 was to be dressed into her lovely new top (chosen by Gordon), a couple of squirts of ‘Emporio Armani’ perfume and she was ready for the party. She was quickly whisked into her comfy recliner chair and off she went to the party room. Gordon’s role was to hide the red mini in the bottom carpark, donned with balloons and posters, while everyone remained on tenterhooks hoping that the party would remain a surprise.

We then awaited Hannah’s arrival. Andrew her brother done the most amazing job of getting the unsuspecting Hannah to the hospice with the lovely Maisie. Executing a pre-arranged diversion, Hannah arrived at the party room entering via the glitter curtain to the lovely sounds of happy birthday to you playing in the background.

The family had the most amazing time and Hannah thought the party was the only surprise, little did she know!!! Alison then presented her with a little red mini toy car and the realisation then dawned on her daughter’s face. Her dad had brought the car up to the front door of the hospice and with the aid of the IPU staff Alison was able to be taken out on her comfy chair to be part of the final surprise. As you can see she became involved in every part of this special celebration for her lovely girl. The family then all toasted Hannah with the waiter none other than our own clinical services manager, before returning to the party room, to complete their celebrations.


Alison, Gordon, Andrew and Hannah we all overwhelmed at what had been achieved in such a short space of time and how every effort was made to ensure Alison participated in every stage of the celebrations. Their parting words that day was ‘thank you for making this all possible’.