Hey I’m Donna … Director and Creative Designer at Orchid Memories

THIS IS MY STORY BEHIND ORCHID MEMORIES

After finishing a two year Youth Training Scheme focusing on graphic design and printing when I left secondary school (many moons ago .. ;o) I started employment with a plastic card manufacturing company who produced VIP passes & badges for the hospitality sector, mainly music and sporting events. I fulfilled various roles including: designing, pre-press, printing, admin and finally operations manager. They had the pleasure of my full time service for 25 years!

Eight Years prior I had set up Orchid Memories (see the About Me section) which I operated as a small side line in my spare time. I always enjoyed engaging with families and creating bespoke designs for them and I was always appreciative of the positive feedback I received.

November 8th 2019 – WORST DAY OF MY LIFE

After experiencing some ongoing health problems for a few months I was rushed into hospital that night for an emergency blood transfusion. I was then given the devastating news that I had been diagnosed with Cervical Cancer. (I had been a very silly girl and missed my smear test to which a 5cm tumour had become present).

From that point on my whole life changed. I was sent for CT Scans, Mri Scans & Pet Scans. I was then transferred from Medway Hospital over to Maidstone Oncology Centre where I met my consultant (my AMAZING consultant I might add) and my treatment plan was laid out for me.

Surgery, Radiotherapy every day for 5 weeks, Chemotherapy every week for 5 weeks & 3 once a week sessions of internal Brachytherapy. In between all of this I ended up having seven blood transfusions, a pick line fitted, my weight plummeted to seven stone and right near the end of my treatment I suffered from neutropenic sepsis and was admitted for a two week stay in a private hospital room on intravenous antibiotics as well as fluids four times a day for the duration of my stay. The whole experience was very frightening and was the toughest challenge I have ever had to face both physically, mentally and emotionally.

The positive that I take from the worst experience of my life is that I got to meet some of the most AMAZING individuals, the Doctors, Nurses and all the staff at both Medway and Maidstone NHS are just incredible. I received the BEST care and I will never forget any of them (especially two of my main guys who I will always hold in the highest regard: Mr Doctor Jeff Summers & Mr Professor Omer Devaja)

July 13th 2020 – BEST DAY OF MY LIFE!

I received that all important telephone call at 10.12am to notify me a full response had been achieved. It was finally over, my life was handed back to me. A well deserved magnum of Moët & Chandon was enjoyed that day (I shared with my family and friends of course!) When the lock down restrictions were lifted and the world started to open up, the whole of my ordeal just hit me and I started to look at life in a very different light.

I needed to move on and find fulfilment somewhere else. It was a very hard decision for me to make after working for such a long time for my previous employer, but I had to make the choice and so I resigned. I wanted to concentrate on something that I am passionate about, gives me drive and what makes me happy.

So here I am today my very own boss … ORCHID MEMORIES is now a full time business.

“If I Didn’t Make You Uncomfortable You Never Would of Moved”

Yours Sincerely The Universe