“Sunday 27th September 2015, was the worst day of our lives. We lost our mum, Cathie Stankevitch, on that afternoon.
An out of control van left the road and collided with mum and dad, who had been innocently walking their new pupplies along a footpath near to their home in Widnes.
Lisa, my sister was in work at the time, caring for the elderly at a care home in Warrington, and I was at the local rugby stadium with my 8 year old son Oliver, watching Widnes Vikings play.
When the call came just after 3:40pm, to say that there had been an accident, the World seemed to stop for a few minutes. The reality of the situation didn’t really sink in for me, until I had made my way towards the place of the accident and the road had been closed. As I parked the car, I noticed the Air Ambulance taking off and I realised it was very serious.
I was told by the Police to head straight to Aintree Hospital in Liverpool, which I did immediately, calling my sister on the way to let her know what was going on. The drive to the Hospital seemed to take forever, with everybody else on the road seemingly crawling along.
On arrival at the Hospital, I went straight to A&E and asked if mum and dad had been brought in. I had to give personal details for both mum and dad, but I just couldn’t think straight, and couldn’t recall any details. I just wanted to know where mum and dad where and that they were okay.
Lisa hadn’t arrived at the Hospital as she was lost, and I was trying to guide her in over the telephone but she was getting increasingly frustrated. I tried to find out what I could from the staff about mum and dads injuries, but all they could tell me was that mum was being ‘worked on’ and dad had been taken upstairs for treatment.
A Doctor then came to speak to me, and I was told that mum was in a very bad way, with severe head injuries, and they were going to induce her into a coma to relieve the pressure on her brain and also so that they could assess all of her other injuries.
Dad had suffered serious injuries but his were not life threatening.
I went up to see dad, but couldn’t get any sense out of him, while he waited for Doctors to see him, he was just asking about mum, and Lisa was calling me as she still hadn’t found the hospital.
I went outside in a daze to wait for her.
When she eventually arrived, we both ran back into the hospital and upstairs to see dad.
I explained to Lisa what I knew about mum as we went up the stairs.
When we got to dad, a Doctor was about to take him, and he explained that he was taking dad to the family room. He asked if we were ‘son and daughter’. Which we confirmed.
I don’t know how to explain what I was feeling at that point, but I knew as soon as the Doctor had mentioned ‘family room’ that it wasn’t good. The 20 seconds or so that we spent in the lift we’re horrendous. I had all kinds of images going through my mind as I’m sure Lisa and my dad had.
Once in the family room, another Doctor entered and sat down and went straight to the point. She told us the most horrendous news that anybody could ever hear.
Mum had lost her life.
I can’t begin to explain it. I can’t understand it. I still can’t believe it and neither can Lisa, my dad and our family.
As a family, we were and still are absolutely devastated and continue to find it extremely difficult to take.
There are just so many questions that don’t have answers.
Mum was just 54 years of age and in the prime of her life. She loved her children, myself and Lisa, and her grandchildren, my children, Sian, Oliver and Beau, and she was looking forward to so much, including planning a family trip to Disneyland in 2016 as well as taking a trip to New York with Lisa for Christmas.
She has been cruelly taken away from us in the most appalling circumstances, when she had everything to look forward to and she has left behind my dad, who now has to support the family alone.
People say that ‘maybe it was fate’, but I don’t believe that, and I get angry when people say it. Mum was a fantastic person, and there is no reason why she should have been robbed of her life.
We feel that we can’t sit back and wait for whatever lies ahead, so I am trying to be proactive and do positive things. It’s something that I need to do, because it is focussing me on something good rather than something very bad. It’s helping me personally.
As a means of creating a long lasting legacy in mums name, I decided to set up the Cathie Stankevitch Foundation, and through the Foundation I will do my best to keep all memories of mum alive through the community work that we will do, dedicated to mum.
Mum was particularly passionate about children and young people and them having positive opportunities and experiences, and mum was always willing to put others before herself, sacrificing her time and well-being to make sure others were supported and looked after.
Our nan has also lost her daughter, with mum being nan’s main carer, and despite us trying to rally around and support our nan, there is a huge hole left behind which mum filled for everybody.
We hope to continue where mum left off and through the Cathie Stankevitch Foundation, support people and communities that were close to mums heart.
If you can support us please do so where you can, whether it is through a donated item that we could raffle or auction, through cash donations which can be made through our website, or by volunteering your time to help us run our events and projects
We are very grateful for what has been contributed so far and for the support we have already received and continue to receive.
You can also get involved with the Cathie Stankevitch Foundation by directly joining our fundraising activities and participating in our future challenges.
We want to do our very best for mum, as she done her very best in life for us.
Just imagine the impact that losing your mum would have on you and your life. It’s devastating. We all have a mum, and we all know we will lose our mum eventually, but in the circumstances we have lost our mum, we never expected that.
If you would like to contact us, please do so by email or by calling us on the number displayed on our ‘contact us’ page.
Thank you for your time in reading this, and also your support
John Stankevitch – March 2016