This Christmas Southern Area Hospice Services reach a milestone as they celebrate 30 years of Hospice Care. 

Over the next six days we will tell the story of local people who have used the service throughout those 30 years.

Since 1989 the Hospice…Your Hospice… has cared for thousands of patients and their families living across the Southern Trust Area, providing specialist Palliative Care to those with life limiting conditions. 


At Southern Area Hospice they believe that Christmas Together is Special, the Hospice allows families to make the most of precious time with each other.  They are mindful that there are 30 years of Hospice Memories in our community, and particularly at Christmas Time they take time to reflect and remember.

This Year they hold their ‘Light Up A life’ Illumination ceremony 12 December, 7.30pm at St John's House in Newry when they ask people to dedicate a Light on their Christmas Tree in Memory of a Loved One. 

Barry's Story

Barry was my brother, there were four children in our family one girl and three boys, Barry was the oldest of my brothers.  Barry was like any other 17 year old, he loved football especially Manchester United, he enjoyed playing golf, he was learning to drive,  he was also achieving his joinery apprenticeship and enjoying his work experience which he was completing with our Dad in the family Furniture business.

Barry turned 18 in February 2000 when he was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia, this news devastated our whole family, the Leukaemia was very aggressive therefore Barry’s treatment started very quickly.  Barry went through a tough course of chemotherapy, numerous lumbar punctures and radiotherapy.  Barry suffered severe side effects from these treatments, sickness, fatigue, headaches, hair loss etc.

When Barry completed all of his treatment the Doctors gave us the good news that his leukaemia was in remission,  at that time they would not carry out his bone marrow transplant, they thought his body had reacted well to treatment, so they would keep that in reserve.  Unfortunately Barry's good health was only to be enjoyed for a few short months, as his initial symptoms had returned and on further examination of his bloods & scans Barry's leukaemia had presented more aggressively and with extra complications, on 31/10/2001 Barry's Doctors delivered the worst possible news to our Mom and Dad, the leukaemia was untreatable and Barry was given only 6 weeks to live.  

As a strong, close family we processed this news as best possible, Barry's emotions, care and needs came first, we needed to be strong for Barry and we needed to make Barry's last precious weeks special.

We cared for Barry at home until 7th March 2002, when this was no longer possible the Hospice came into our lives.  The staff gave Barry so much love and care, they ensured his final days were pain free, and they showed my Family and I complete compassion.  Barry had a lovely room which we decorated with beautiful flowers and balloons, we had a lovely family room where we could comfort each other, pray, chat, cry and laugh as we shared stories about Barry.

Barry passed on the 17th March 2002 in the Hospice with the most professional, caring, amazing staff by his side for every step of his journey.

We have been supporters of Southern Area Hospice for 20 years now, they were there for us when we needed them and helped our family through the most difficult time in all our lives.  We will never forget the Hospice for everything they did for Barry and for all of us, they hold a special place in our hearts forever. 

We Sincerely thank them.

Glenda Smyth

Light Up A Life

Southern Area Hospice invite you to remember your loved one this Christmas as we celebrate 30 years of Hospice Care… your light will shine down from our tree throughout the Christmas period. 

To dedicate a Light to a Loved one this Christmas please visit 


Or text LIGHTS to 70660 to donate £10.

By remembering your loved one’s this Christmas you will be helping the Hospice to care for someone else’s, as we look toward our next 30 years.

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