Crissi joined the volunteer Complementary Therapy team in 2012. Patients and their carers can enjoy therapies ranging from massage to Reiki. She says: “Many people have the wrong impression of a hospice, believing it is a place of sadness and despair. It is a place of support, safety and calm. Friendships are made, solidarity abounds; we help and hold each other up when it’s needed. I loved working with the Trinity team.
“In 2014 we sold our family house and purchased a garden with a bungalow!! After 9 months of hard work we finally moved in and returned from a holiday to find hundreds of tiny flowers had bloomed – it was like a message saying HELLO! Look at our potential! I set about watering the flowers but the next thing I remember I woke up on the floor and realised I could not move my legs. That day was the last time I stood up, and it was whilst doing something in the garden that I had such a vision for.”
Crissi had a spinal cord injury caused by a blood clot and was paralysed from the waist down. She spent months in hospital, and when she returned home she and her husband had to remodel the house that had so recently been completed.
She says: “The reason for loving the bungalow so much was my vision for the garden; but how could I bring it back to life when my life had been broken?. I just didn’t know how I would accomplish it. Friends and family were a massive support and one of these was Donna, who co-ordinates the Complementary Therapy team at Trinity. She knew that I love Northern Soul and Motown and before my life changed I had started DJ- ing. Donna suggested coming back and playing music for patients in the Day Unit. We gave it a go and what a success! I always held a belief that music is medicine and this proves it.
“Patients share their memories, the music transports them to happy times, very often they will get up with the volunteers and nursing staff to have a little dance. I just look and think I’m in the presence of something so special to see this – all from the power of music.”