Viv Kinsella, a 58 year old former head teacher from Stockton Brook, first came in contact with DougieMac in August 2015, after she was diagnosed with bowel cancer.
She was referred to the hospice’s In Patient Services for pain management, after Viv’s oncologist said she was too poorly for any treatment.
“After arriving in agaony and not being able to sit up, within 10 days her pain had been relieved and she was smiling again. We went to see the oncologist again and he was amazed by her turnaround,” her daughter Sarah said.
Viv was given the g0-ahead to receive radiotherapy and chemotherapy and she continued to attend the hospice’s Day Therapy Unit. However, despite all efforts, a scan in June 2016 showed her tumours had grown substantially.
With her condition deteriorating quickly, Viv and her family faced a heartbreaking decision; whether to continue wit her chemotherapy treatment or focus on pain management. One of the DougieMac doctors helped them weigh up their options.
“They didn’t tell us what to do but they helped us make the decision. We decided not to carry on with more chemotherapy treatment,” her husband Dave added.
Day Therapy staff helped Viv to write an end of life care plan, which proved invaluable and helped to allay any fears they may have had. Viv’s family also had input into the plan which Dave added,
“Was hard but had to be done, and it felt like a weight had been lifted.”
Viv was transferred back to the DougieMac In Patient Services where care and support was provided for all the family. Viv’s daughter Sarah praised the team saying,
“The doctors kept us informed of everything. We were able to be with Mum constantly during the last 4 days of her life. It was precious time that we wouldn’t have had in another environment. Nobody knew when the end was coming so you can’t leave; you want to be there. To do that in the environment we were given was just fantastic.”
Sadly Viv passed away at DougieMac on 2nd July 2016. Remembering their last few days together, Sarah has a special mention for the doctors and nurses who oversaw her Mum’s care,
“They genuinely care about the person they’re dealing with,” she said.
“They told us everything in terms we could understand which made things easier. The nurses did things that others didn’t find time to do for Mum. Like they suggested her having ice pops and she loved the ice pops. That’s what remarkable care is to me.”
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