30/01/2020 | Press releases

Peter and Toni’s special thanks to Colchester Hospital teams

A grateful couple have shared their deepest thanks to big hearted Colchester Hospital staff who came together to arrange a blessing of their relationship.

Peter Hare and Toni Bennett, from Harwich, have been together for 13 years.

Peter, 71, has been receiving care on Nayland Ward since October for a series of complex medical conditions.

A relationship blessing was held for them in The Time Garden at Colchester Hospital on Wednesday, 29 January.

Toni, 44, said: “We’re very grateful for what everyone has done, I can’t put it into words. I can’t believe what Colchester Hospital has done for us, they’ve helped out and done everything, it was a lovely service.”

“This is the happiest we have seen Pete in a long time.”

Peter added: “Everything went down well. It was nice to be together.”

Nayland Ward sister Jenny Chapman said: “Peter’s been with us for a few months and during that time he has, on and off, been extremely poorly so to be able to do this was so special.

“The team worked together with colleagues in several departments to make it happen. It’s just lovely to be able to support Peter and Toni and wish them well.”

The ceremony was conducted by East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust’s Lead Chaplain Allison Cline-Dean and was attended by ward staff, as well as Peter and Toni’s family and friends.

The generous ward team all made personal donations to pay for food and drink and Marks & Spencer, who have a Simply Food store at the Turner Road site, donated flowers to the couple for the ceremony.

Peter will be leaving the hospital soon to be cared for in the community.

Peter and Toni, centre, are pictured with Nayland Ward team members (left to right) healthcare assistant Darren Mollam, Dr Princey Vimal, Dr Sofia Mota, ward sister Jenny Chapman and advanced nurse practitioner Ian Bell.

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