Karuna Christmas Appeal
Ashley Cooper and his wife Helen

 

Dear Karuna Friend,

As a valued supporter of Karuna you know that we care for hundreds of families every year, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, free of cost.

We know a lot of families are struggling as a result of job losses and financial strain. But this Christmas, please consider giving a donation to Karuna to help families and those with terminal illnesses like Ashley Cooper.

“Without Karuna it would have been a completely different experience if he had been in hospital or a nursing home.” said his wife Helen.

Ashley Cooper with some of his grandchildren

In May this year, while Queensland was in lockdown as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ashley Cooper AO died peacefully at home surrounded by his wife Helen, daughters Sally, Amanda, Susie and Lisa, and their puppy Molly.

The Wimbledon tennis great was cared for at home by Karuna, embraced by the love of his family and visited by friends.

Ashley Cooper was an Australian tennis champion who won eight grand slam titles including the Australian, Wimbledon and US singles titles in 1958. He also oversaw the creation of the world-class Queensland Tennis Centre and the Pat Rafter Arena in Brisbane.

Helen says he was disciplined, private and very generous, always ‘wanting to make sure everyone else was taken care of’. Karuna gave the family the opportunity to take care of him while also ensuring Ashley remained in control of his own journey.

“I will always treasure those months, weeks and days spent with Mum, Dad and my sisters. Karuna enabled us to give Dad all of our hearts and minds during that time. Every care given to Dad was done so with the utmost love, patience and gratitude.” says Amanda.

Ashley Cooper with his daughters

Today Karuna is needed more than ever. This year we have continued our support for families like the Cooper’s but we need your help.

Karuna has continued to support families and provide vital end of life care throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of our clients tell us that their last days and months would have been very lonely without Karuna’s care and support during the lockdown.

 

“It bought us all together, there were a lot of laughs. We have a lot of really good cooks in our family and we could all cook for him and it was like my kitchen rules – competitive – you would try to make the best thing you could cook and you could tell he enjoyed every last mouthful.”

Susie says that her dad was grateful to be at home and the process of caring for him had helped the whole family come to terms with his death.

 

Your gift today will support Karuna

I ask you to give generously to Karuna’s 2020 Christmas Appeal. It’s through your generosity that we can continue to provide end of life care at home, giving clients like Ashley Cooper the gift of being able to die at home surrounded by family.

 

“We are eternally grateful for the way the Karuna team held our hands through every stage of Dad’s last months. It was a dignified, peaceful and deeply caring time for all of us. Having choices, flexibility and a part to play in the process of one’s final weeks isn’t often possible, but at home with Karuna, it is,” says Lisa.

Your support for Karuna will make a very real difference. Unexpected illness can happen at any time. Karuna can be there with compassion, dedication and support.

 

Thank you

 

Yours sincerely,


Tracey Porst 
Chief Executive Officer
The Karuna Hospice Service Ltd.

 

P.S. As Karuna is a charity the number of people we can assist is limited as we rely on donations and bequests to continue our work in the community. Your tax time donation will make a world of difference and it will mean more families won’t have to face this journey alone.