Mother's Day treat fulfils bucket list wish for nursing home resident

Michael Harper, from Thorpe House in Griston, with his mum Doris Harper. 

Michael Harper, from Thorpe House in Griston, with his mum Doris Harper. - Credit: Kingsley Healthcare

Staff at a Norfolk nursing home helped fulfil a resident's bucket list wish to give his mum a special Mother's Day to remember.

Michael Harper, who lives at Thorpe House in Griston, near Watton, thought he only had a few months to live after moving into the nursing home last June.

The 52-year-old suffers with serious liver damage and since his move to the Kingsley Healthcare home has been working through a bucket list of wishes with help from well-being co-ordinator Marcia Hughes.

Doris Harper, from Thetford, with her gifts.

Doris Harper, from Thetford, with her gifts. - Credit: Kingsley Healthcare

His wishes include reconnecting with old friends and giving his mum a Mother's Day to remember, with the latter being fulfilled recently on a special Mother's Day visit to the Griston home on Sunday, March 14.

Staff went the extra mile in making the day as "special as it could be" for Mr Harper, whose palliative care journey is not easy.

His mum Doris Harper, 90, said just seeing her son was the perfect Mother's Day gift but was overwhelmed by the "lovely surprise."

She said she never expected any of it after her son presented her with a hamper of gifts, chocolates and an orchid.

Michael Harper with his mum Doris Harper and sister Jacqueline Biffin.

Michael Harper with his mum Doris Harper and sister Jacqueline Biffin. - Credit: Kingsley Healthcare

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Wrapped up against a brisk March wind, Mrs Harper and her daughter Jacqueline Biffin, who live in Thetford, were also treated to homemade cake and coffee in the garden.

Mrs Biffin said: “It was a lovely surprise for my mum, in fact quite overwhelming.

"Marcia, Alexia and all the other staff are absolutely amazing. My mum even said if she needed to go into a home she would be happy to come here.”

The family were not the only one surprised by the day, as the nursing home's activities co-ordinator was taken aback by a visit from Mr Harper's tarantula Tara.

Michael Harper's pet tarantula Tara.

Michael Harper's pet tarantula Tara. - Credit: Kingsley Healthcare

But for the 52-year-old nursing home resident, the day was made perfect by the visit from his pet.

Other residents at the home were also treated to special treats and a Mother's Day lunch of homemade traditional beef hotpot followed by lemon syllabub.