Pat and Roy
We don’t in this present age talk much about death. It is a prospect we’d prefer not to contemplate but recognise that one day it will happen to each one of us. We may feel fearful of the manner of it, have no idea when it will happen, but we can decide (in many cases) where we would like it to happen.
As a former nurse who lost a dearly loved husband in August 2009 all I can say is that, in my experience, a hospital is not an ideal place to die. It is an alien environment with all its noise and bustle. Some of us will of course need the very specialised care they provide for certain illnesses. For others the idea of a hospice with its peaceful and often beautiful surroundings is a much more acceptable alternative.
However, in Roy’s case, to be at home surrounded by all that is reassuringly familiar has to be the best place to spend one’s last days. This is where Helen’s Trust came in for us, providing free of charge, all the equipment required to nurse the patient at home together with expert and sensitive medical and nursing care so that the carer feels completely supported and the anxiety of the one receiving that care is reduced.
All too often patients are distressed by the thought that they are being a burden to those closest to them. Roy passed peacefully from this life in the familiar comfort of his own home surrounded by his family.
I would like to thank Helen’s Trust, and everyone involved, for their dedication in providing the highest standard of palliative care which should be available nationwide and will one day, I hope and pray, become a reality.
By Pat Westwell