Gift in your will
Leaving a gift in your will, whatever the size, can make a real difference to staff and patients for years to come.
Here we present two inspirational stories; one from a former member of staff and the other a former patient, on how they showed their appreciation for Guy's and St Thomas'.
Guy’s surgeon’s special gift for a place he loved
Former student and long-serving Guy’s Hospital staff member, the late John Taylor, left a wonderful gift in his will to support the opening of the new Cancer Centre at Guy’s.
John graduated from Guy’s in 1977 with a degree in Medicine and went on to have a long and successful career at the hospital as a surgeon.
John was diagnosed with cancer and was treated in the same hospital he’d studied and worked for so long. Sadly, John’s cancer was terminal and he died in 2014. John made clear his wish that part of his estate be left to the new Cancer Centre helping the Trust to brings together most cancer treatments under one roof – previously cancer care was provided in 13 different locations in eight different buildings on the St Thomas’ and Guy’s Sites.
The amazing new £160 million Cancer Centre, opened its door to patients on Monday 26 September 2016. John’s incredible generosity contributed to the development of the Cancer Centre, as well as vital tools for cancer diagnosis and treatment monitoring. The Centre utilises the latest technology to treat around 6,500 cancer patients each year. It will deliver most of Guy’s and St Thomas’ cancer treatment, meaning that patients can be provided with seamless care in one location.
Before he died, John said,
‘My happiest memory was the pride of being a student at Guy’s Hospital Medical School. I wanted to recognise the outstanding clinical education I received, based in facilities that were, in the main, constructed through the philanthropy of others over 300 years’.
Former patient thanks surgeons for restoring her sight
Patricia Field, 79, had two cataract operations at St Thomas’ in the mid-1990s, shortly after retiring from her job as a nursery school teacher.
‘My sight had been deteriorating for 18 months or so,’ she recalls. ‘I could still see, but everything was cloudy and dull. The effect of the operations was immediate. I felt confident about driving again, and I could see the colours of the trees and flowers. I’m a keen gardener, so that was very important to me.’
At the time, Patricia was still adjusting to life post-work. She thought about making a donation to Guy’s and St Thomas’ straight after the operations, but opted to wait until she felt more secure about her financial situation. ‘I knew that each operation had cost about £1,500,’ she says. ‘I felt quite strongly that if I could, I wanted to pay that back.’
That opportunity arose when Patricia came to write her will. She now plans to leave £3,000 to Guy’s and St Thomas’, along with a number of legacies to other charities that are close to her heart. Patricia initially considered leaving the money to the Eye Department where she was treated, but ultimately opted for it to be used wherever the need is greatest.
‘I realise I’m lucky to be in the position to do this,’ she says. ‘But I do think we all owe a debt to the NHS. I was in America some years ago, and I met some ladies who didn’t agree with our health service at all. It really brought it home to me how awful it would be to be ill and unable to pay for your treatment. The NHS may be under a lot of strain, but it’s still a wonderful resource that we all rely on. This is my way of showing my appreciation.’
If supporting the hospital in this way is something that you may consider, click here to find out how you could have your will written by a qualified solicitor for FREE.