Caroline’s Story

I have had the pleasure of working here at St Andrew’s for the last 17 years and I have had the privilege of helping to care for and support many families over these years.

Myself and my family have experienced first-hand the excellent care and compassion that the staff give. We lost both my Dad Alex and Uncle Alan who were both cared for here at the Hospice.

Dad was first diagnosed with cancer in 2007 and initially came into the Hospice in the October for pain management. Initially, Dad was very reluctant about coming into the Hospice as he thought it was simply a place to die but within 5 minutes of arriving, he realised that his perception was wrong. Once Dad’s pain was under control, he went home and continued to be supported by our Outpatient and Wellbeing Team.

Unfortunately, Dad’s condition deteriorated and he was re-admitted to the Hospice in the December. For myself and my family it felt like a weight had been lifted from our shoulders, knowing that he was receiving excellent 24 hour care.

It was very difficult trying to work and visit. A nurse said to me “Take your pinny off and go and be a daughter.”

The whole family visited on Christmas Day and my Mum and Dad had their last Christmas dinner together. My Mum was able to stay with her husband during his stay which meant so much to us all. At New Year, all our family were allowed to ‘bring in the bells’ together and Dad was able to have a wee drink. Dad also enjoyed complementary therapy treatments which helped relieve his pain and anxiety. The staff were all amazing and
were like extended family.

Even after Dad’s passing, the care did not stop for our family. The Hospice counselling team supported both my Mum and myself.

My personal experiences have changed the way I work. I now understand the care from both sides – as a member of staff and as a family. This has helped me to change the way I support families. Every patient and every family member requires care.