Peace of mind at Wed­getail

Hos­pice brings big re­lief

Tweed Daily News - - NEWS -

IT’S a po­si­tion no child wants to be in but many face at some point.

For Kate Mcke­own, be­ing be­side her mother, Sally Del Peru­gia, in end-of-life care at Dul­guigan hos­pice, Wed­getail Re­treat, has made their chal­leng­ing sit­u­a­tion much eas­ier.

Ms Mcke­own will soon have to leave her mum for a pe­riod of time, re­turn­ing to the United States to tend to her busi­ness and nine-year-old daugh­ter.

While split­ting her time be­tween the two coun­tries, she said her 67-year-old mother from Fin­gal had been grad­u­ally de­te­ri­o­rat­ing.

Ms Del Peru­gia mother has me­tastatic en­dome­trial serous, a painful, life-threat­en­ing ill­ness.

Her at-home carer could no longer man­age and her pain lev­els had be­come “too dif­fi­cult” to stay in her home.

Ms Mcke­own urged the com­mu­nity to sup­port Wed­getail Re­treat since her mother be­gan her stay there.

“I have wit­nessed first-hand how ex­pen­sive sy­ringe driv­ers are that help to con­trol pain, por­ta­ble oxy­gen con­cen­tra­tors that help de­plet­ing blood oxy­gen lev­els rise and other med­i­cal equip­ment that brings great re­lief to those who are dy­ing,” Ms Mcke­own said.

“They are the only or­gan­i­sa­tion in the re­gion that also loans med­i­cal equip­ment free to pal­lia­tive clients at home.

“I have been by Mum’s side for sev­eral weeks and the level of com­mit­ment from the nurs­ing staff is deeply touch­ing.

“The trained pal­lia­tive vol­un­teers are ex­cep­tional, even the cooks.

“They treat us and ev­ery­one who comes to the hos­pice like trea­sured fam­ily and don’t hes­i­tate to go the ex­tra mile.”

Ms Del Peru­gia said she had been in an im­mense amount of pain at home.

“I was so un­com­fort­able,” she said.

“My pain lev­els were out of con­trol. As soon as I came to Wed­getail Re­treat I re­laxed, my doc­tor vis­its me here and it is such a beau­ti­ful place.”

She said it was im­por­tant for the com­mu­nity to un­der­stand how much of a dif­fer­ence the hos­pice had made to her qual­ity of life.

“The nurses al­ways have a smile and the visit by the ther­apy horse was such a de­light­ful sur­prise,” she said.

“I want peo­ple to know how com­mit­ted this or­gan­i­sa­tion is and how much they need busi­ness and com­mu­nity help to raise funds. 24/7 nurs­ing care doesn’t come cheap and to stay, they only ask for un­re­stricted do­na­tions, if you can af­ford it.

“Al­though they work with lo­cal hos­pi­tals, they do not re­ceive any fund­ing from NSW Health.”

While Ms Mcke­own has been liv­ing in Atlanta, Ge­or­gia, for the past seven years, spend­ing time to­gether at the hos­pice has left them with spe­cial mem­o­ries.

“The ded­i­cated nurses have be­come like sis­ters to me and I know mum is re­ceiv­ing ex­cep­tional pro­fes­sional, lov­ing care,” she said.

Wed­getail Re­treat is the only in­de­pen­dent com­mu­nity hos­pice in NSW and is con­nected with the award-win­ning Tweed Pal­lia­tive Sup­port.

■ To do­nate, visit www. wed­getail­re­treat.com.au or phone 02 6672 8459.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

IN GOOD HANDS: Kate Mcke­own with her mother, Sally Del Peru­gia, who has been stay­ing at Wed­getail Re­treat due to wors­en­ing me­tastatic en­dome­trial serous.

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