Patient stories

Margaret’s story

Andrea, Margaret’s daughter, shares their story.

Andrea wanted to look after her mum, Margaret, at home but needed support and expertise to care for her. That’s where our Hospice at Home team came in.

I wanted to look after Mum, like she had looked after me

When the Oncologist told me and my mum, Margaret, that there was nothing more they could do to treat her cancer, I was overwhelmed. Mum had always been there for me – she’d always been there for everyone. She had been an incredible nurse for most of her life and had the biggest heart of anyone I know. My brothers used to joke about Christmas, asking, ‘Who’ll be at the dinner table this year?’. Because Mum would always invite someone down on their luck to eat with us.

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Now she was the one in need of help and I wanted to look after her, as she’d looked after me and so many others. But I needed support to keep her at home; I was worried I didn’t have the expertise – or the time – to care for her. I turned to the Hospice at Home Team at St Barnabas House and found nurses with hearts as big as my mum’s.

Thanks to the hospice, I look back on the last few months of Mum’s life as a gift.

With help to keep her comfortable at home, I could spend quality time with Mum – as her daughter, not her carer.

I’ll never forget her voice ringing through the house as we sang old songs together. And when I think of Mum now, I see her smiling at old photos as we looked through them on her bed. We had time to reminisce, to laugh and cry. I even had time to help her write Christmas cards – it was so like Mum, to think about doing things for those she loved while she was so sick.

The nurses would come out at 2am if we needed them

Towards the end, Mum would call out in pain in the night. She often wouldn’t take her pain medication and once, in a panic, I called the Hospice at Home Team at 2am, because I had no idea what to do. They came straight to the house to help. They were always willing to rush to our aid, no matter what time of the night it was. In fact, they went over and above time and time again. Mum hated injections, so they found a way to give her medication orally.

Even after she died, we were all in pieces, but the nurses were wonderful – they styled her hair and sprayed on her favourite perfume. I cannot be more grateful for every thoughtful detail and personal touch they brought to their incredible specialist care.

I’m so grateful to St Barnabas for giving me the chance to make wonderful, precious memories. Memories I’ll treasure for the rest of my life.

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About Hospice at Home

The Hospice at Home team offer vital support and advice to not only the patient but also their family. This care meant that Margaret’s daughter, Andrea, knew that she had the support she needed, day or night. It reassured her to know that she was never alone. Find out more about the care we provide in your community.

Can you help?

A gift from you can help provide tailored care that can bring comfort and even joy at the end of someone’s life. It can give people the chance to be at home in their last days, with the people they love the most.

Image of a smiling nurses outside the hospice