Family urge local community to support “invaluable” hospice care
Jane Lowe, aged 40, backs charity fundraiser ‘One Night in a Onesie’ after her Mother receives St Barnabas Lincolnshire Hospice care.
In 2002 Jane’s mother was diagnosed with having a Meningioma non-cancerous brain tumour. She underwent surgery and the tumour was successfully removed, however, by 2010 the tumour had returned and Jane’s mother had a second successful operation. Tragically in 2012 the tumour had returned yet again and whilst undergoing surgery a second previously undetected tumour was discovered.
Jane recalled “Due to the placement of the tumour the root was unable to be removed and in April 2013 Mum was told that the tumour had started to grow, the prognosis was not good – medically there was nothing more they could do.”
Jane’s mother began to have intermittent seizures brought on by damage caused from the surgery and by the growth of the tumour, this seriously affected her mobility and after a seizure in October 2013 she was admitted for the final time to Lincoln County Hospital.
“Mum wasn’t in a good way, the tumour was continuing to grow and the seizures had started to take their toll, resulting in a loss of the remaining movement in her upper and lower body. Mum had always been adamant that when the time came she wanted to be at home surrounded by her family. A friend of my sister suggested we contact St Barnabas Lincolnshire Hospice, as they would support our wish for mum to return home. Until that point we had naively thought that St Barnabas was only able to support families with Cancer, it is regrettable we weren’t aware sooner.
“St Barnabas have been by our side ever since. They were instrumental in getting everything in place so that Mum could leave the hospital and return home to us. The Hospice at home team have provided much needed support and, although their primary focus is Mum, they take the time to look after the whole family. Their visits are determined by Mum and what kind of day she is having; on the days they don’t come out they phone instead, just to check we are all okay.”
Jane has moved into her Mum and Dad’s house with her two young sons aged 9 and 13. She no longer works as a social worker, and now alongside her Father, cares for her Mother full-time. When asked how St Barnabas Lincolnshire Hospice had helped Jane and her family, she sat back and shook her head.
“Where do I start?” asked Jane “I can hardly put into words how invaluable St Barnabas has been. I really can’t praise them enough. The nursing team have treated us all with such sincere and genuine compassion whilst all the while ensuring Mum’s dignity.
“They help to normalise an otherwise sensitive situation by sharing this journey with us, from the tears to the laughter. Surprisingly there has been plenty of laughter, and it is those small moments, those glimmers of hope, which have kept us going from one day to the next.”
Jane continues: “Going through something like this is highly emotive, stressful and at times isolating but this is all alleviated by being able to talk to the team who fully understand our situation. You don’t have to keep explaining yourself. They have been nothing short of amazing.
“It really is important that the community continues to support St Barnabas Lincolnshire Hospice because this organisation and these people are invaluable. It is easy to convince yourself that you don’t need to get involved because situations like this won’t happen to you. But they do happen. They are happening to us right now.”
Already keen to make a difference Jane has signed up to take part in the charity’s ’One Night in a Onesie’ 10k walk on Saturday 7th June. Jane will walk as part of a 4-piece team which includes her sister Sharon, niece Beth and close family friend Charlotte. In honour of Jane’s mum the team are called ‘Shirley’s Girlies’ and have pledged to raise £500 and are already at 69% of their target. Jane’s 13 year old son and her 15 year old nephew will also join the walk as a separate team to show their support.
Jane concludes: “Following another seizure after Christmas Mum’s health has begun to deteriorate and we know it is now only a matter of time until Mum leaves us. I also know that St Barnabas will be there for us all when it happens and that in itself is reassuring. It is because of St Barnabas that Mum is getting the one thing she really wanted; to spend what little time she has left at home surrounded by her family.”
You can support Jane and her team on JustGiving: http://www.justgiving.com/teams/ShirleysGirlies/
Sign up to take part in ‘One Night in a Onesie’ online