A Crawley football fan asked supporters to wear pink on Monday helping him raise £1,245 for St Catherine’s Hospice where his wife lived until her death at the weekend.
Peter Kersley of West Green organised the fundraiser after being moved by the care his wife, Lauren, received there. He sponsored Horsham FC’s bank holiday game against Lewes and fans dressed in pink and donated money to the cause.
The day would have been her 31st birthday, however she passed away on Sunday. Supporters joined a minute’s applause before kick-off.
Peter said: “We got lots of support at the game. It was a bit of a sad day, but it was a positive day as well.”
Lauren suffered pulmonary hypertension and due to her condition worsening over the past year, doctors decided to withdraw her treatment.
On June 20, shortly after the couple’s fifth wedding anniversary, she moved into St Catherine’s where preparations were made for her final days.
Speaking last week Peter said: “We have had a long hard road through Lauren’s illness, including three years on the lung transplant waiting list at Harefield Hospital.
“Unfortunately we never received a call and came off the list in January 2015. Due to a change in medication in September last year, Lauren ended up contracting sepsis in Hammersmith Hospital, and came very close to the end but she fought back and beat the infection. Sadly things weren’t to be the same after that as her condition has worsened.”
Due to the complex nature of her illness, doctors could not say for certain how long she had.
Peter added: “Originally, Lauren’s primary care hospital in Hammersmith had said it would be a matter of days.”
In fact she fought on for about nine weeks. She also leaves the couple’s 13-year-old daughter Megan.
After hearing the hospice receives no Government funding, Peter, 31, was determined to help them.
Monday’s event was the first of many fundraisers he plans. In October he will be abseiling down the Sandman Hotel in Three Bridges dressed as X-Men’s Wolverine.
He said last week: “All the staff at St Catherine’s have been nothing short of fabulous. Never has anybody become complacent with my wife due to the length of time she has been here, and they still treat her with the same dignity and warmth as they did from day one.
“Even this isn’t too much trouble for them, and go about their work day-to-day with a permanent smile on their face.”
His Just Giving page is www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Peter-Kersley1. People can also follow his progress on Facebook and Twitter, @elmokersley.