DURING Christmas my lovely mum was diagnosed with cancer and had to undergo an emergency operation at Llandough Hospital.

We will always be indebted to the extraordinary talents of the consultants, nurses and the wonders of technology; but when we were at our most vulnerable and fearful, it is the ‘milk of human kindness’ that brings true comfort and light.

My mum experienced and I witnessed exceptional acts of kindness during her time at Llandough Hospital.

The consultant who said he would come in Boxing Day if need be to do mum’s operation, if there was difficulty finding a bed. The registrar whose reassuring words – “don’t you worry, you’re with our family now, we’ll take care of you” – made us all feel safe. The recovery room team, who sang mum carols and put tinsel in her hair, helping to ease her fears. The nurse who made an extra effort to blow-dry mum’s hair so “she looked lovely for Santa”. The consultant’s secretary who took the time from her busy day to talk to me and give comfort, and made me feel like mum was their only patient.

Although we did not experience the usual elaborate feast and gifts galore, we experienced something much more precious - the true ‘Spirit of Christmas’ and ‘Goodwill to all Men’.

For this we will be eternally grateful.

Aldene Thomas