Share Your Story
Hearing about others' experiences can be helpful when dealing with death and bereavement. Do you have a personal experience that you'd feel comfortable sharing with the campaign? If so, let us know...
My Dad, Ian, died last year after battling exceptionally bravely with leukaemia for five years. The medical staff pulled out all the stops to help him in his last year with drug trials and chemo'. They were incredible and very skilled.
However, towards the end when Dad really was incredibly unwell they carried on and on with invasive medical procedures for longer than was good for him. It was clear to us the family that he was near the end but for the doctors it was almost as if the extension of life at any cost was better than the quality of that life. We eventually said no more and bought him home and my mother courageously nursed him until the end in the peace and quiet of their home with the wonderful Macmillan nurses. He was surrounded by his two grandchildren and his dogs and it all felt more natural. The GP was brilliant and as my Dad deteriorated the nursing staff helped him with the syringe driver to make his last few days as peaceful and pain-free as possible. It was grim for him and he struggled but everyone was there to help.
Palliative care needs to be discussed at a much earlier point with patients so they are aware that they don't have to keep fighting on but can have pain free way out if they so choose. I applaud Dying Matters more people need to talk about the kind of death they would like and how best to achieve it. We plan for the birth of a baby with a birth plan - why doesn't everyone make a death plan?
The Dying Matters Coalition is led by the National Council for Palliative Care,
the umbrella charity for end of life care in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Freephone 08000 21 44 66