“After settling into a beautiful room with everything Mum needed there, the Hospice staff very quickly stopped being “staff” and soon became friends. Their care was on a level our family had never previously experienced, nothing was ever too much trouble.”
“My mum, Sylvia Skillicorn was first diagnosed with melanoma almost 20 years ago. Throughout the following years, she received various treatments both on and off island but last summer, we finally knew all possible treatment was exhausted. Mum faced this devastating news with her usual brave, calm acceptance showing more concern for everyone around her, particularly her four adored grandchildren, than for herself, and it was now that Hospice stepped quietly into our world.
At first, Hospice looked after Mum’s pain relief, always at the end of the phone and with regular home visits. Nothing was too much trouble, day or night as the pain relief wasn’t straightforward, and this care enabled Mum to get out a little, especially to important places like the hairdresser!
By October, however, it was clear that Mum was more poorly than she really wanted us to know. She was firmly decided though that, if it could be possible, she wished to pass in Hospice as she knew the care would be the best she could have, not just for herself but for us all as a family. And so it was, that Mum left home one autumnal morning in an ambulance with my Dad to go to Hospice when the pain was too much for her, and it was hoped this would just be a short period of respite there.
After settling into a beautiful room with everything Mum needed there, the Hospice staff very quickly stopped being “staff” and soon became friends. Their care was on a level our family had never previously experienced, nothing was ever too much trouble. As it became clear this wasn’t respite, Mum’s wishes and needs were paramount to everyone. Friends and family were always welcome to visit, photos adorned the room, whatever Mum fancied to eat would be found and made for her, and her hairdresser came up to ensure Mum still looked her best! Whilst there were tears, there was also much love and laughter making the very hardest times bearable for us all.
As Mum’s time came closer, my Dad and brother were able to stay at the Hospice. The doctors and nurses kept us fully informed of everything that was happening, and were always with us to provide us with food, to be a patiently listening ear or to just give a much needed hug. The love and care shown to all of us was beyond wonderful.
Mum passed peacefully on December 6th in the evening. We were all with her, and in every way, she was able to have the calm, dignified passing she had hoped for thanks to the Hospice staff, who went above and beyond to make everything bearable for us all and helped us every step of the way.
The care hasn’t stopped there either - Hospice have stayed in touch and offered counselling and attendance at events such as the beautiful Memorial Service to help us through our grief, amongst other contact, and we will continue to support as much as we can to give something back.
“Thank you” doesn’t really seem adequate enough for the care, compassion, love, laughter, understanding and support we, as a whole family, received from the whole Hospice team in our darkest days. The Hospice is a very special place and we are able to bear the pain of losing Mum knowing that she left us there, feeling safe, cared for and surrounded by love.”