SIR – Christmas is coming and as people are well aware Christmas isn’t the happiest time in every household. On December 1st 2018, I lost my mother to cancer and, as the anniversary is drawing close, I am reminded of all the people who made her last few months comfortable. People I cannot thank enough.
I thought maybe this letter might change people’s minds about our health system and how, even though it’s a sad time, I have solace in the fact these people made myself and my mother’s lives much easier.
Our story begins in February 2018 when my mother began to complain of back pain. A strong woman who never complained, numerous trips to A&E never produced answers and she continued in pain, which was being controlled by her GP, Dr Diarmuid Cahill of Larkin Street surgery in Clonakilty.
Dr Cahill fought for us wholeheartedly and eventually got us into Bantry General Hospital, where within 24 hours Dr Wieneke had a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer and our journey began. Enter West Cork Palliative Care who helped to no end.
Next step was home where again palliative care and the public health nurses made our lives easier and made Mary so happy. They were like friends more so than carers.
Next step and the final step was Marymount. For a month, Marymount became our home where we laughed cried and made friends. All these people made the journey possible and made our last months bearable.
So, to conclude, I would like to thank Dr Cahill and all the staff at Larkin Street surgery, Dr Wieneke and all the staff at Bantry General Hospital, West Cork Palliative care and the public health nurses, the staff of Clonakilty Pharmacy, all the staff at Marymount Hospice, the Carroll family (Mary’s family) originally of the Doheny Bar, Dunmanway; Mary’s best friend Mary Harrington and all our family and friends for restoring my faith in the health system and restoring our faith in humanity. Although a sad time, I can look back to 12 months ago and smile a little.