Partner's gift to hospital in memory of Rhiannon, 28, who died of cancer

Kyle Beales and Rhiannon Staff.

Kyle Beales and Rhiannon Staff. Mr Beales has donated iPads to Beccles Hospital after his partner Miss Staff died from cancer. Picture: Kyle Beales - Credit: Kyle Beales

The partner of a young woman who died from cancer has donated iPads to the hospital that was treating her so other patients can communicate with their loved ones during the pandemic. 

The generous donation to Beccles Hospital comes after nursery nurse Rhiannon Staff died in December aged just 28.

She was on Minsmere Ward for six weeks receiving care from the specialist palliative care team - a partnership between Lowestoft-based East Coast Community Healthcare and St Elizabeth Hospice.

Kyle Beales and Rhiannon Staff.

Kyle Beales and Rhiannon Staff. Mr Beales has donated iPads to Beccles Hospital after his partner Miss Staff died from cancer. Picture: Kyle Beales - Credit: Kyle Beales

Rhiannon’s partner of 10 years, Kyle Beales, from Bradwell, near Great Yarmouth, said: “It was something I knew I had to do because of what they did for us.

"I was quite lucky that I was able to be with Rhiannon at the hospital.

"It was valuable time that we got to spend together, time other families haven’t been able to have because of the Covid-19 restrictions, which is why I decided to donate the iPads.”

Miss Staff had been diagnosed with cervical cancer in August 2016 aged 24.

Mr Beales, 29, said: “Our whole world flipped upside down but we managed to live life to the full for four years after her diagnosis.

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"Rhiannon was fantastic at making good out of a bad situation. What Rhiannon taught me over those four years of illness will be with me forever - if you can get out of bed in the morning, make the most of the day.”

Kyle Beales presents some of the iPads to the Minsmere Ward nurses at Beccles Hospital.

Kyle Beales presents some of the iPads to the Minsmere Ward nurses at Beccles Hospital. Picture: ECCH - Credit: ECCH

Mr Beales presented Minsmere Ward at the hospital with six iPads – one for each of the specialist palliative care beds at the hospital - with each one engraved in memory of Rhiannon.

He said: “There were a couple of members of staff who I will be eternally grateful to. They really helped Rhiannon through her hardest times and I’ve stayed in contact with them.

"They came to Rhiannon’s funeral. It’s amazing the impact they had on our lives in such a short time.”

Mr Beales has also had a tree with a plaque commemorating Rhiannon’s life planted at Gunton Woodland Burial Park in Lowestoft.

Adele Madin, director of operations for ECCH, said: “We are so grateful to Kyle for this very generous tribute to Rhiannon.

"Covid visiting restrictions have been very hard on patients and their loves ones and we have done our very best to support people to be together, and to use technology to stay in touch when they can’t visit in person.”

Kelvin Bengtson, medical director at St Elizabeth Hospice, said: “This is a wonderful tribute to Rhiannon and we are very thankful to Kyle for his generosity."

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