You’ll be fine, we’ll look after you.
Interview with Anne Watson about her mum, Theresa Keenan who passed away in the Hospice on Christmas Day 2021.
My mum was very special. She was always there for us. She was kind and giving and very lovely.
She was diagnosed with breast cancer 7 years ago and then a week later found out she had Multiple Myeloma too. She went into remission with the breast cancer but it returned last summer. She was told that her only chance was to have a mastectomy but she was never right again after this operation and went downhill, eventually being admitted to hospital for 9 weeks last October.
While mum was in hospital, she lost the power of her legs. We didn’t know at this point that the cancer had spread through her whole body.
Dad went in two weeks after mum did because of issues with his Parkinson’s but he shockingly died of septicaemia shortly afterwards.
I knew about St Luke’s and how precious it is to get a bed here because I’d heard people saying it’s wonderful and that’s where they wanted to be at the end.
When the ambulance came to take mum to the Hospice she held onto her rosary beads for dear life. But when we first came in it was so lovely, calm and peaceful.
I remember Nurse Rachel’s smile. She took my mum’s hand and she gently rubbed it and said you’ll be fine. We’ll look after you. Within a couple of hours, she had started to relax.
Mum was too unwell to go to dad’s funeral so they put a screen up for her to watch it. You could see her lips mouthing the prayers. And then when it was over, she smiled and she just closed her eyes for the last time. She was so peaceful.
She died 3 days later on Christmas Day in the morning.
But the care in this place – I will never forget it. The Hospice is just amazing. When you’re in here, you’re in a different world. They take your stresses away. Everything you ask for at St Luke’s they do – they listen.
The carers would come and they’d carefully turn her around because she had blisters from the hospital on her bum and on her back. They would turn her every couple of hours and they treated her with so much dignity.
They took such care and showed so much compassion. Nurse Rose and everyone here, you build a connection with them all.
It’s a privilege to die here with the best care, love and kindness from all the staff – no money could ever be enough and I will always be grateful.
Everyone should have dignity at the end of their life, to be helped with their pain, not be scared and have their loved ones around them. My mum received all this at St Luke’s and died at peace.
Our patients urgently need new pressure relieving mattresses to prevent bedsores and give comfort to patients like Anne.