A Family's Story....

Posted Tuesday June 21, 2022
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Nic and Tina Marshall were first exposed to Otago Community Hospice in 2018 after visiting a family friend in the inpatient unit. They were so impressed with the way their friend was cared for they started making donations to the Hospice.

In 2019, their father, who had been fighting cancer for five long years, was referred to the hospice after repeated admissions to hospital for pneumonia. The Hospice community team helped Nic and Tina to care for him at home. During this time, sadly their mother was also diagnosed with terminal cancer.

“The hospice nurses visited us weekly and were available 24/7 to help with all our needs from making sure we had all necessary medications to hospital beds, everything you could think of to help keep them both comfortable at home for as long as possible as per their wishes,” says Nic.

“The staff were incredible and so respectful to us, and our Mum and Dad. Our Dad spent the last few hours of his life in the Hospice. When we arrived at the Hospice, Dr Chris who explained the process of passing and what to expect. It was so comforting to know exactly what to expect and I could just focus on Dad without being scared. It was level 4 lockdown and the team made it possible for me to be sitting with him, holding his hand as he passed. It was a sad but also truly beautiful time, even though Dad was unconscious the staff still spoke to him and explained what they were doing, I thought this was so lovely and respectful. Dad would have loved a natter if he was able.”

“Eight months later our Mum was no longer able to orally take her medication and she was in a lot of pain. Within a couple of hours we were welcomed at the Hospice and Mum was made comfortable and sleeping peacefully. We had a bed in the room with her and we were all looked after by the whole team at the inpatient unit for two days 24/7 until Mum passed peacefully and pain free.

“The hospice offered us emotional and pastoral support before and after Mum and Dad’s passing including bereavement counselling and they also hosted memorial afternoon teas to remember our parents and other families who also lost loved ones.

“We were so impressed with the whole experience, the support they offer far exceeds what others can do for patients and families at this time.

“We highly recommend the Otago Community hospice; I have no idea how we would have managed the last two years without them.”

In loving memory of Earl and Heather Marshall