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"You matter because you are you,
and you matter to the last moment of your life" 
 Cicely Saunders

 

Frau P.

In the summer of 2012, Mrs. P., a single woman,  got an incurable disease with very poor prognosis. 

As a heavy smoker, it was a nightmare for her, not being allowed to smoke when ever she wanted  or indeed, to have to become dependent on others. After long and intensive discussions, she  asked me what I thought about looking after her at home until the very end.

In January 2013, she was admitted to a Palliative Department in a large University Hospital. Very weak and short of breath, she called me and asked me to pick her up and bring her home. However, there was great difficulty in renting a transport oxygen machine. Because of this, the staff was very against the dismissal, as much as they saw the last home care as irresponsible.

Through an acquaintance who was a senior Physician in the Clinic and supported us, we managed to get home.

It was Friday evening. The following Monday afternoon, she quietly passed away, content and free of pain. She was very happy that her last wish to be allowed to die at home in peace had been fulfilled.

The last letter wrote by Mrs. P. 14 hours before she died:

"Dear Dr ... without your assistance I would not be allowed to leave the hospital on Friday.  You gave me a weekend where I was able to be as comfortable as possible in my own home. You do not know what this means to me. Thank you so much…!”


Mrs. Inge M.

Inge M. became seriously ill in July 2011. In spite of treatments, therapies and surgeries Inge was until April 2013 able to live an almost normal life. Up until then she was completely self sufficient. Independence and self-determination was very important to her. She also placed great emphasis on a well-groomed appearance. When the last treatments were finished, it was a considerable relief for her and her 2 daughters that she could return to her apartment, which was located in her own hotel.

From this point on I took over her daily care. A room was set up quickly with bed, etc., because her prognosis was very bad. Through a very effective Pain Management program as well as Inge's incredible willpower she could retain her independence and I could watch as her condition improved day by day. A Pedicure and hairdresser were arranged and she even arranged a party with many of her dear friends. Her daughter Conny had to, of course, to be constantly available to guests in the restaurant, but she was still able to spend a lot of time with her ​​mother caring for her every day. A glass of champagne and small treats were brought to her. Flower arrangements and recipes for the hotel were as always discussed. Inge had the feeling of still being a part of her beloved hotel.  
8 weeks went by and suddenly her condition declined. In the presence of her two daughters, she quietly pasted away.

Inge will stay in my memory forever. Remembered as a great, incredibly strong and very positive woman who never complained about her situation. I am grateful to her and her family for allowing me to take over this task.
 


Conny Groener writes:

Our mother was diagnosed with colon cancer in July 2011.

After the first surgery we were informed of the inevitable. Unfortunately, the cancer was detected too late and could not be healed. Despite the very negative sign, our mother was recovering at home increasingly quickly from multiple surgeries and long hospital stays. The ongoing chemotherapy she endured well. During these therapies, she could fortunately live at home, and only had to leave the house a few hours at a time. The recovery was so perfect that she temporarily appeared "healthy".  

I have to mention that she was a very independent woman who had a strong will, coupled with a healthy dose of strength and energy.

The setback came suddenly and unexpectedly, even though we all knew it. After another chemotherapy and pain therapies, our mother had to go for radiation therapy to the clinic. From this Hospital (new, bright and sunny with a friendly design) we had to take over all responsibility and she was released on Sunday afternoon and was brought home. The reason:  she received MISERABLE medical care (the staff did not care / took little notice / didn´t want to see anything - for example, she had on her back a large 15 cm open decubitus!)   

Taking her home was essential for us, although we were afraid of the unexpected.  None of us were experienced in medical maintenance and support. "What if our mother dies?" We were already very desperate! Yes, we were afraid.

Our friend Charlotte was with us at this time and was a blessing.

The complete medical care my mother was given was perfect and in a most loving manner.  - The correct supply of medical care to her wounds, the collection of different medication from her pharmacy and being present at conversation during home visits by her Doctors.

High praise was given to Charlotte after each home visit by her Doctors – they did not expect this great healing. Well that was Charlotte!    

And also ....the conversations with us, the conversations with me. The Calm down! Elucidating! What happens now? - The questions!

Every little success was celebrated by my mother and us. We were together as a strong unit.

And we could give her a liveable and lovable time. Thanks Charlotte! We could not have done this alone.  

Today I am glad that we dared to bring our mother home! Our wishes were all fulfilled, we had a conversation partner, we all laughed and cried together - we all overcame it together.

Our all respect goes to Charlotte, who has actively supported us in this difficult time - thank you!

Conny Gröner & Barbara Wehmeyer
Braunstrasse 5
64720 Michelstadt / Odw.
Tel : 06061 / 71017      


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