Despite being very ill Mary was determined the party would go ahead and treated her friends to dinner at luxury country house hotel near Torquay.
She returned to the hospice a different woman, lively and cheerful, telling everyone about her big night out and showing them photos. Just two days after leaving the hospice she died peacefully at her Pinhoe home.
“The evening out gave her a real boost and to be able to do something like that a week before she died is amazing,” said Mary’s Hospiscare community nurse specialist Lynn Renouf.
After the party Mary said:” I had been planning this for weeks and although I felt rough and was weak on the day I knew I had 18 girlfriends and two limos waiting for me! Everybody I knew, who was special to me, was going to be there.
“Every single second of that night gave me a lift. All my girlfriends gave me a big cheer and sang Happy Birthday to me and there was a massive magnum of champagne in the limo.
“You do not know when your time is up, I look at my life like a cake and every piece is a wonderful memory and when the cake is gone, I have lots of happy memories.
“Earlier in the day I had the most wonderful jacuzzi bath which lifted my mood. Hospiscare staff gave me a wonderful, massive birthday cake with huge sparklers, then a Hospiscare nurse painted my nails, my best friend Valerie helped me put on my best outfit and the adrenalin just flowed like a drug.
“I have my family and friends who are my main supporters and I have Hospiscare which gives me physical, emotional, mental and social support. A Hospiscare hairdresser cut my hair and on my birthday, the day before the party, I had a hand massage. They made me feel pretty.”