In­ti­mate look at dy­ing

Pho­tos cap­ture pa­tients fac­ing life’s big­gest chal­lenge in care

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Vera Ber­tola

THERE is no word for that sub­lim­i­nal state be­tween life and death, when the breaths are be­com­ing shal­lower but the heart re­fuses to con­cede that its earthly duty is draw­ing to an end.

Most of us are un­com­fort­able with death, and even more so when death taps a loved one on the shoul­der.

West­ern Syd­ney Lo­cal Health Dis­trict mul­ti­me­dia man­ager Car­los Fur­tado re­cently had the priv­i­lege of pho­tograph­ing a day in Mt Druitt Hos­pi­tal’s Sup­port­ive and Pal­lia­tive Care Unit.

Mr Fur­tado was given ac­cess to pho­to­graph the most in­ti­mate of mo­ments when pa­tients, fam­i­lies and staff were deal­ing in real time with the re­al­ity of dy­ing and death.

In a se­ries of emo­tive black and white pho­to­graphs, Mr Fur­tado has cap­tured those “pre­cious mo­ments” as pa­tients rest un­easily — and wait, fam­i­lies re­flect on the im­pend­ing fi­nal­ity of life and hos­pi­tal staff go about their jobs with gen­tle­ness and grace.

Nurs­ing unit man­ager Trish Dal­gleish said her team’s job was to make a dif­fer­ence to those fac­ing one of life’s big­gest chal­lenge — death and dy­ing.

“The Sup­port­ive and Pal­lia­tive Care Unit at Mt Druitt Hos­pi­tal pro­vides our com­mu­nity with holis­tic acute care, as­sess­ment and symp­tom con­trol for adult pa­tients over the course of their life lim­it­ing ill­ness,” Ms Dal­gleish said.

“When peo­ple ask me what I do, I proudly ex­plain. They re­spond, ‘it must be so de­press­ing’.

“I tell them it’s an ab­so­lute priv­i­lege to be able to as­sist pa­tients and their fam­ily and car­ers at this time of their lives.”

Pres­ence is a great com­forter when the time is draw­ing nigh and the world out­side fades into in­signif­i­cance.

Pic­tures: Car­los Fur­tado

Pre­cious mo­ments of dy­ing, re­flec­tion, con­fronting your fears and sup­port­ing fam­ily and staff are cap­tured at Mt Druitt Hos­pi­tal's pal­lia­tive care unit.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.