Flautist’s Initiative Supports the Hospice
Rather than being bowed by COVID restrictions, a Wealden musician used her lockdown as opportunity to remember her beloved niece and raise much needed funds for the Hospice. Elizabeth Harris staged a live Facebook flute performance from her home in Hawkhurst in late June. With an international audience in tow, Elizabeth raised over £250 for Hospice in the Weald, where her niece, Natasha (Tasha) had spent the last weeks of her life.
Natasha was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 27 and lived with her illness for 8 years before passing away in December 2015. Elizabeth describes the Hospice palliative care she received as, ’amazing’.
Natasha’s parents, Teresa and Barry, recall how Tasha loved to dance and, starting ballet at the age of 2, had joined the National Ballet. Tasha was able to share her love of the Arts in conversations with staff at the Hospice. They were never too busy to stop and talk about what was on the TV or favourite shows in the West End. ‘It really helped to keep her spirits up’. It was December, when Tasha was in the Hospice, her favourite time of year. In preparation for the big day one of the nurses spent time painting Tasha’s nails red so she felt in the festive spirit. ‘This gesture of kindness meant so much to her, she was so proud’. Tasha was able to view the Christmas tree and attend the Light up a Life Carol service, held outside, all wrapped up in her wheelchair. Although, sadly she did not live to see Christmas Day, staff accommodated both family and friends so Tasha could have her wish of passing surrounded by those who meant most to her.
Natasha was not defined by her illness, she was full of life and had a smile that lit up a room. According to Teresa and Barry, the Hospice had enabled their daughter to experience moments of joy to the end.
Hospice staff had ‘given her dignity in her final days - nothing was too much’.
Natasha’s Aunt Elizabeth now has plans for more concerts and performances