When my lovely Dad was in the last few days of his life it was a terribly distressing time for our whole family. Mum, my brother and I had been looking after Dad at home, giving him the best care that we could. None of us has any nursing experience and there were times when we felt totally overwhelmed, especially when it came to having the responsibility of administering powerful medication. It was a very scary and exhausting time and there were definitely days when we teetered on the edge of not coping. I remember clearly the day he was admitted to the hospice. As we walked in through Mountbatten's doors it was like being embraced in an enveloping hug. It was such a relief. From that moment on we could focus on just being with Dad, holding his hand and talking to him, and comforting each other while the skilled hospice staff provided his nursing care. They looked after us, too, and that crucial support continued long after Dad had passed away.
The last couple of years have been incredibly challenging for everyone in so many different ways. Charities have found it increasingly difficult to raise money, with so many deserving causes competing for donations. Mountbatten hospice provides an essential service for Island families and I hope I will be able to give something back to them by raising some valuable funds. Tracy Dove