Hospice at Home team give Sheila vital support in battle against illness
Published at 16:32, Monday, 11 February 2013
SOME people are not aware just how much St Mary’s Hospice has to offer, until they need the services themselves.
By Paul Berentzen
In the last 18 months, Sheila O’Sullivan has been cared for by various staff and volunteers and experienced some of the services she had no idea existed.
She suffers from a long-term, life-limiting lung disease and is cared for at her Ulverston home by the Hospice at Home team.
She gets weekly visits from a volunteer district nurse and sees other members of the Hospice at Home team at least once a month, who help her husband Tom to give her the care she needs in her own home.
But as well as the visits, Sheila knows the staff will come to see her at a moment’s notice if she ever needs them.
She said: “I can ring them when I need them.
“When I have been feeling unwell or am concerned about something they will come out to me and help me. They will come and see you as soon as possible.
“Nothing is too much trouble for them and they always have a smile on their faces.”
But she said that when she was diagnosed, she had no idea the hospice would be able to cater to her needs. Sheila added: “I thought it was only end of life care.”
She said the staff and volunteers she had met through the hospice had changed her life.
She added: “They just ring up and say ‘how are you feeling?’
“You don’t feel like you have taken their time. They are really good when you are here — your time is theirs.
“It is a good job the hospice are your friends. When you become seriously ill, you lose your friends and the hospice just takes over.
“I have got lots of new friends that I didn’t know I had.”
And as well as improving her quality of life, Sheila is convinced the support she gets from the hospice has kept her going when the condition was getting the better of her.
She added: “I honestly don’t think I could have lasted this long.
“When I just couldn’t cope they brought me right out of it. It’s marvellous.”
l In tomorrow’s Evening Mail, the Reaching Out campaign will take a closer look at the work of the Hospice at Home team and the importance of the care they provide out in the community.
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
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