PLEASE READ SO YOU KNOW HOW VERY VITAL THE HOSPICE IS.
We do not want to shock or upset anyone, but we KNOW that sharing the very painful truth below may help you understand why we want to help our Mumma leave such a positive and so urgently needed legacy to the hospice (who were just amazing in the 5 months of awfulness post her diagnosis). This was the hospice she was meant to spend her last weeks in but couldn't because of the simple fact their resources are limited. It costs them £18,000 a DAY just to stay open; their NHS funding is tiny and all else comes SOLELY from donations such as ours and YOURS. They can't currently afford anywhere near the beds needed, and, just as the price you pay for love is pain; so the price we all paid for her NOT being able to die at the hospice is another, horrific pain, especially given all that unfolded.
On Saturday 16th February, the night before she died, we were both at her bedside in a 'Care Home with Nursing' , an environment so very opposite of what the hospice gives people in terms of family support but also - VITALLY – 24/7 superb medical palliative care. This is care she did not have, but she would have if had been able to be at Princess Alice Hospice. On that Saturday evening, she desperately needed administration of a drug that is crucial once the patient starts choking (an awful but always certain element of end-of-life lung cancer).
She did not get that drug for over 6 (SIX) hours. Horrific for her, and for us to have to see, as the one agency nurse on duty didn't know where the drug was and couldn't administer it in any event. Likewise, her syringe driver with crucial pain relief and other meds in could not be re-filled, as morphine is a controlled drug so requires 2 nurses to sign it out and 2 nurses to administer.
My sister stayed with Mumma, nursing her as best she could; and I had no option but to go into 'work' mode, literally ordering the nurse to find & ring the home's manager; for her to get there NOW; having to invoke the Mis-use of Drugs Act and media attention in order that she did so. As I did that downstairs, my sister was upstairs and literally having to help Mumma through the choking, including wiping blood from her mouth. I'm genuinely sorry to even recall this, let alone anyone else be upset by reading it, but we both know it is THIS truth that will help you all understand just HOW vital the hospice is.
So we got her the care and drugs she so desperately needed, stayed with her until she was wholly peaceful and asleep, then we each kissed her goodnight. It was the last time we saw her alive.
She died the next morning at 8.15, at peace and in NO discomfort – but what of the patients who maybe don't HAVE the family love, & enormous advocacy we had to invoke for her? NONE of that would however have been needed IF she had been able to be in the Princess Alice Hospice, and who were so very amazing where they could be.
So please, in our Mumma's memory and for those patients yet to tread this awful path, do please donate whatever you can – literally every donation no matter how small will help.
Thank you, Karen & Chessy xxx