"My mother's care during her final illness"
About: Stoke Mandeville Hospital Stoke Mandeville Hospital Aylesbury HP21 8AL
Posted by Heather Gaebler
My mother died from Pneumonia after a 7 day stay in Stoke Mandeville. The professionalism and care she received there was excellent. The staff were informative in a compassionate but realistic way about the likely prognosis, which was, that treatment for the infection from which she was suffering, did not look hopeful. I was able to visit my mother whenever I wished, in the knowledge that she only had a short time to live. It is comforting to know when a parent is in the last stages of their life, knowing also that the doctors and nurses are doing everything possible to treat them. I was kept informed of Mother's condition, as attempts to treat her were made. Her doctor met with me discuss her wishes about palliative care in the final stages of her illness, which fortunately, Mum and I had talked about when she was mentally able to take such decisions. The result was, that intrusive medical procedures, the drip and her oxygen mask were removed once it became clear that the combination of antibiotics she was receiving were ineffective. She was then given pain relief, which is what I know she wanted. She was treated with compassion and her dignity and wishes were respected. What more can any of us wish for? The nursing staff did all they could to keep her comfortable. They were sympathetic to me, and someone always found time to talk when I needed it. This work cannot be easy and I have the greatest respect and gratitude to the staff on Ward 6, and for a member of staff from the Bereavement Service, who helped me so much with the practicalities that require attention after a death. She also took time with me before and after I visited Mum in the Chapel of Rest, listened to me, and was very supportive. This helped me a lot in the aftermath of the death, when one is in shock, but has to get on with life.