Audrey, 90, was diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus in November 2020. Amanda, Audrey's daughter wanted to honour her Mum and the hospice by sharing her story.

“Mum spent 5 weeks at the hospice at the end of her life, she was very scared and found it very difficult when she was first admitted to hospital. She was unhappy and due to pandemic we only got to visit her once. I was very worried about her.

She always wanted to go to the hospice, so when a place became available she was transferred for end of life care on the inpatient unit, it made such a difference. As soon as we arrived all barriers we had were broken down. The doctor came and visited my Mum, whilst Dad and I was there. He was lovely and was very sincere. He spoke about how they would help and explained what will happen. He even spent time with my Dad talking to him to make him feel calm and relaxed about everything.

Everyone had time for us, the whole family. I was very noisy and asked lots of questions, but they were so kind and welcoming. They included us in the decisions made about my Mum’s care. They even helped manage her pain medication. Towards the end, Mum was very sick, but they tried everything they could to make her comfortable.

At Christmas, she came home and got to see the family and spend time with us. She wouldn’t eat whilst she was at home, but loved the food at the hospice. The continued care throughout the whole time she was there was incredible. There is genuine empathy, the nurses that looked after her stayed with us till the end, and we got to stay overnight whilst she died.

Although it was a very sad time, we got to focus on spending time with Mum and creating memories and happy time. They even allowed my dog, who is a big part of the family, come to the hospice with me and visit my Mum. She was allowed to sit with her, and she was so happy. The hospice really did allow us to make the most of everyday.

A couple of weeks after Mum died, my Dad was really struggling. He received a call from the hospice to check up on him which really helped him. It just showed how much they cared for the whole family.

The hospice really did help us as a family, we felt safe and supported. They allowed us to spend time with Mum till the very end, we are so grateful for everything the hospice has done for us as a family.”

Over the pandemic we have helped 142 local people receive urgent care on our inpatient unit, we couldn’t have done that without your support. As we move out of the lockdown restrictions, we expect increased care will be needed for people who haven’t been able to access it. You can help us support more people like Audrey and her family.

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