Ella works with one of our volunteer Art Therapists, Lucy, she’s been seeing her for the last few months. Ella is blind, she has eye cancer and sadly last autumn lost her sight. Five years ago she was diagnosed with leiomyosarcoma, a smooth muscle tumour, she finds it hard to move around and now even sitting up is uncomfortable.

In May it became just too hard to get to the hospice, sitting upright in a car was impossible so Lucy started visiting her at home. That was when she began expressing herself through poetry.

“It was my idea to write poems, it’s hard to make anything when you’re lying down. I started working on them using a little digital recorder, then I could edit them with Lucy. We’d tweak them together and she’d write them for me. This poem took me about four weeks to produce.

I like my poems to be a little bit specific and a bit vague so people can put their own take on it. I wanted to add a comedic end to it.”

You Never Know- A poem by Ella Craze

You never know when it’s the last time you will see your own reflection or see the sea,

Feel moved to pick up a paint brush,

You never know when the end is going to be,

Walking on warm sand, small waves lapping at my toes....

For the very last time?


A pen laid down where it was last used,

A tissue scrumpled in the corner of a pocket,

Inadvertently thrown away...


Dancing to Billy Ocean's red light...

Spells danger...

Can't hold on much longer. 


Your voice, my voice,

Bird Song...


Ahhhhhh Yes, 

But I don't half like toast.

We’ve been caring for Ella at home and in the hospice

Ella lives at home with her Mum and around the time she lost her sight her doctor referred her to Martlets. It was a shock and seemed like a big step to get involved but her doctor was reassuring.

In January she stayed on the In Patient unit for two weeks, while she was on the ward she heard about our Complementary Therapy service. Ella had acupuncture with Josie, and sessions for massage and reiki. ‘I think the touch and the care are the main things for me, physical contact is a big thing when you’re ill.’

Helpful Hub

Through our phone line called the ‘Hub’ we’ve been able to support Ella and her family whenever they need it, even if that’s late on a Friday night and she’s at home. We work in partnership with Sussex Community Trust to provide this free support line – open 24/7, seven days a week.

“We’ve always found the ‘hub’ very, very helpful. It’s often late on Friday night that something seems to flare up, they’ve got all my details and the staff are always bright and cheery; you know you haven’t woken them up! It’s been so valuable to Mum and me.”

“At least twice I’ve woken up with a temperature which means I’ve got an infection that needs to be treated urgently with antibiotics. Staff at the ‘hub’ have contacted the out of hours GP, who can send my prescription to the local 24 hr chemist, my friend can pick it up and I can start taking them straight away. Being able to get antibiotics so quickly would probably save me and Mum a night waiting on a bench in A & E.”

Your support

It’s thanks to our supporters we’re able to care for people like Ella and her family when they need it, at home and in the hospice. Your donations mean we can provide life changing care for local people.

Sadly Ella died a few weeks ago however her mum thought this story would be a fitting tribute to her. We'd like to thank Ella and her family for allowing us to tell their story.

We care for patients like Ella and her family every day of the year. We're here when they need us, on the end of the phone in the middle of the night or visiting in person.

However Martlets can only offer this kind of care thanks to our supporters, people like you. Last year we helped nearly 2,500 people. We need your support to do that again this year.

Every donation you give to Martlets helps us change lives.

Please support us this #HospiceCareWeek with an online donation