Hens’ Story

Thank you to Mary for sharing her mum Hens’ story.

In June 2018, my mum called Hendika (Hens for short) moved into my home as she was no longer able to take care of herself, with the onset of a number of health issues. She retained quite a lot of independence and we enjoyed three years living together.

In April 2021 Hens was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer, she went to hospital but after discussing her prognosis and life expectancy she decided to return
home and undertake palliative care with me.

The local GP surgery referred us to St Mary’s Hospice at Home Team alongside other home support. At first, I did all the care as I thought that should be my role.
Mum’s condition deteriorated and sadly was often incontinent in the night. I became exhausted and St Mary’s Hospice at Home offered Night Support.This enabled me to have a sleep through the night, a nurse stayed with mum all night. At first, they would chat but mum soon fell asleep and looked forward to the overnight support.

The Hospice at Home team continued to provide visits during the day and I was able to discuss Mum’s prognosis and condition as I was worried about how
she would deteriorate and how quickly it would be. They reassured me and were able to answer questions in total confidentiality. Hens retained her sense
of humour and many of the carers and nurses looked forward to seeing her. I started to let the carers do their role and take over mum’s personal care, this
was lovely as it allowed me to be her daughter again without feeling guilty.

The Hospice at Home team continued to visit both during the day and night. They showed such compassion and care and as she deteriorated their visits increased.
On one occasion I even managed to pray with one of the nurses as mum was losing her fight with Cancer. Hens died in early June 2021 and I was by her side stroking her head as she drew her last breath. She had all her daughters present and it was peaceful. The Hospice at Home team were due to visit and were there shortly after she died. They looked after Hens, washed her and combed her hair. We returned to the room, I shall never forget how I felt, relieved that mum looked so peaceful, the nurses had laid three flowers next to her on her pillow, representing her three daughters. I wept with relief and sadness all in one, but the simple gesture of those three flowers meant so much to me.

If you are facing a life limiting illness or a close family member is, then please reach out for help. The Hospice at Home team gave my mum the ability to remain at home with such compassion and medical care with her family by her side. The team offer incredible support and provide respite at a difficult time. I know  that I would not have coped without the Hospice at Home team and I am eternally grateful for them helping undertake the most difficult yet special time in both mine and my mum’s life.



Comment From Mary, Hens' daughter

The Hospice at Home team gave my mum the ability to remain
at home with such compassion and medical care with her family by her side.

Mary, Hens' daughter