In the second of my “Spotlight On” series, in which I focus on an organisation, a person or an entity who helped me and looked after me above and beyond the call of duty when I lost my precious Frankie, I would like to give a particular shout out to The Rev’d David Southall.
I first came across him when I saw a double page spread in the Worcester News in July 2013, when I was 4 months pregnant with Frankie. The article focused on David’s “Good News” blog – www.revdavidsouthall.com – and I was so inspired by this I wrote a letter to the Worcester News about it and to David himself. When I was 5 months pregnant with Frankie I went to the hospital for a scan, so I knocked on David’s office door at the hospital. He happened to be in and I introduced myself, and we got on like a house on fire immediately.
Little did I know just how big a part he would come to play in my life, my husband’s life and our families lives over the coming months.
As each diagnosis that Frankie received was given to us, David was there to support and guide us, not just spiritually but as a friend. When we knew that Frankie would be born sleeping, David walked with us to the delivery suite when I was admitted to be induced. When Frankie was born sleeping on Friday 29th November 2013 at 4.44am, David came to see us on the ward at just gone 9.00am and held Frankie. Later that same day he came to see us in the Fay Turner Suite and baptised him.
On Friday 5th December 2013 David conducted Frankie’s funeral service, and supported us while we organised his funeral. Even after that David was on hand on the phone and in person to talk to us, comfort us and be there through it all. It didn’t end with Frankie, as David was on hand when his Grandad Allan passed away on June 5th 2014. He blessed him and said a few words after he passed on the ward, and conducted his funeral service at Worcester Crematorium a few weeks later. I don’t honestly know what we would have done without David’s caring, compassion and support.
David is a stalwart of the NHS and regularly campaigns on issues within the NHS that are close to his heart. He has seen some tough times at the Worcestershire Royal Hospital recently where staff morale has no doubt been low, yet he still maintains professionalism at all times. He runs the “Voices For Health” choir which I am considering joining, and had the pleasure of meeting Princess Anne when she opened the new oncology centre this week.
So I would just like to say a HUGE thank you to David, without whom I would be in a much darker place than I am now. I firmly believe that you are meant to meet some people in life, and he is one of them.