Untitled13By a series of accidents, some happy, others painful, Cicely went on a logical path to where she found her vocation then did what she knew she was called to do. Her vision of what was wanted gradually changed and developed to become something highly practical and effective. She had the vision, she felt a calling, she got all the right training, and did crucial research on control of pain. She also experienced painful bereavement several times, that tested but never shook her faith.

I’ve met kings, prime ministers and movie stars – but I’ve never felt so honoured to interview anybody as this inspirational, glorious womanLynda Lee –Potter in the Daily Mail 26 February 2000

She created a wonderful team around her, long before the idea of St Christopher’s had even come together as a concept, let alone as a building. She developed a great talent for money raising, working through her own connections and our father’s connections in London. All this was combined with frequent articles and papers for publication from the Lancet to the Nursing Times, and even the popular press. She lectured to medical schools and elsewhere, and later on went to conferences all around the world, made frequent trips to America, giving lectures and interviews wherever she went. A big event in 1986 was the award of an Honorary Doctorate at Cambridge, and another at Oxford in the same year! To sum it up, she showed absolutely inflexible determination, developed a tremendous range of skills, and even became quite a good manager.

CicelyMarianIt was perhaps fortunate, although sad at the time, that she never married in her early days, therefore had no family responsibilities, and could concentrate on following her vision. Though she did fall desperately in love with a dying patient, but that’s another story. Fortunately, late in life, she met Professor Marian Bohusz-Szysko, originally from Poland, in London through his paintings in 1969. They fell in love and were married in 1989. It was an amazingly successful marriage, and I remember that they were really like teenage lovebirds – wonderful. At last Cicely had the love and stability she had longed for.