Gift in your will

Donor stories

Leaving a gift in your will, whatever the size, can make a real difference to staff and patients for years to come.

Here are four inspirational stories...

Her legacy to the place she loved

Sarah Kruger who was both an employee and patient at Guy’s and St Thomas’ left a wonderful gift in her will to the hospitals, following the fantastic care that she received during her treatment for breast cancer.

A much loved employee at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital, the late Sarah Kruger, left a wonderful gift in her will to recognise the fantastic care that she received during her treatment for breast cancer.

In 2004 at age 40, Sarah made the decision to retrain as a nurse and went back to university to study for her nursing degree. After graduating she then joined Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital in 2009.  Her career however was unfortunately cut short following a diagnosis of breast cancer. Sarah did manage to go back to work briefly following successful initial treatment. Sadly eight months later the cancer returned and she had to have more chemotherapy forcing Sarah to take permanent retirement due to ongoing ill health.  

Sarah liked that she was being treated at Guy’s and St Thomas’ as she was going back to friends and familiar faces. It was a hospital that she knew well and trusted to give her the best possible treatment, and this gave her more confidence and strength.  

Upon diagnosis, Sarah should have had just two years to live but due to the support and commitment of Guy’s and St Thomas’ staff and their preparedness to go all the way, it bought her more time.

Sarah’s incredibly thoughtful gift to Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital will go towards the areas of the hospital that need it most - helping to improve the service and outcomes that our patients experience.  

Whilst speaking about Sarah, Rupert her brother said:
“Sarah was resilient; she lived and filled every last moment of her life”. 

Deirdre’s story

Deirdre Collins tells us why she has chosen to leave a gift to Guy’s and St Thomas’ in her will

I have been a patient at Guy’s & St Thomas’ Haematology Department since the start of the Millennium after being diagnosed with two rare blood disorders.

‘Thrombocythemia is a blood cancer. I have too many of one type of blood cell, specifically the platelets. This is putting me at high risk of having a stroke or other problems caused by blood clots. Myelodyplasia means that my platelets are not properly formed and are ‘immature’. These abnormal blood cells may lead on to another form of cancer.

‘My condition is regularly monitored at Guy’s and fortunately my results are mostly stable. At all my appointments, the doctors, nurses and office staff show real understanding and care for us patients and do all they can to make us feel at ease.

‘When I was given my diagnosis some years ago it was both frightening and lonely and although this has passed it is still uncomfortable living with the impact on my life. So it is really helpful to know that the Clinic has its own skilled counsellors with whom we can share our worries at any time.

‘A Newsletter called MPN Voice keeps patients and their families up to date on research into these and other rare blood conditions. MPN Voice also gives details of occasional one-day Conferences for patients in different parts of the country and publishes helpful stories showing how people are living with these little known health problems. We hear about the increasing number of individuals and groups who are climbing, running, abseiling or holding other events in order to raise money to help the research work to continue. Two of our Haematology Consultants first set the pace by daring to abseil down Guy’s Tower - certainly a feat above and beyond the call of duty!

‘I have been privileged to see the ongoing research and patient care grow and develop over the years around what are known as Myelproliferative disorders. I have unwavering confidence in the people who are carrying out this pioneering work and I want to play a small part in ensuring that it grows and continues in the years ahead. I am leaving a gift in my will to the Guy’s and St Thomas’, directing it specifically to support this particular area of research.’

John Taylor

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’.

Patricia Field

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.’

Want to know more?

Leaving a gift in your will, whatever the size, can make a real difference to staff and patients for years to come. 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.