In February 2023, Sara was diagnosed with a cancerous tumour she named ‘Peachy’ and was in severe debilitating pain.  

An operation to ‘evict Peachy’ confirmed her tumour was inoperable and she would need end-of-life care from Mountbatten. Sara was admitted to the inpatient unit in our hospice building. 

Before she died, Sara described, in her own words, what the care she received meant to her. 

“Before coming to Mountbatten, my pain and symptoms made me so tired. I couldn’t focus on anything. My friends, family, and kids, Abi and Olly, only visited for short periods because I just got so tired and couldn’t speak clearly.” 

“It was isolating, and I felt a bit hopeless. I couldn’t believe anyone could get my pain under control so I could be comfortable. 

“After my operation at Southampton Hospital, I was feeling at my worse, away from friends and family, not knowing when I'd get home. Dee, a Mountbatten nurse, visited me and said she would help to manage my pain.  

“From there, everything began to change. Dee knew her stuff and reassured me that I would be more comfortable. I finally felt like I had the support I needed.’  

“Two days later, I arrived at Mountbatten and felt like I was home. Supported and reassured, treated with dignity, like a person that mattered. The care is so personal. It makes you feel like you’re part of a family.  “They’ve been able to get my pain under control. I’ve named my two syringe drivers ‘Bill’ and ‘Ted’, and they go everywhere with me in a discreet bag. It just feels less ‘clinical’.’  

“I haven’t eaten much, but when I fancied steak recently, my sister-in-law brought one in, and the staff cooked it for me. It was delicious. 

“They even moved me to a room for a better view! I couldn’t believe they would be so considerate.  

“I love the garden and go there most days with Abi and Olly. We had a family lunch with 17 of us at the weekend. That was great. I felt so happy we were all together.  

“Being able to have all my friends and family visit, even my dog Maisie, who I have missed so much, means everything to me. I’m a social person, and even though I'm still very tired, I can have visitors all day and night if I want.

“The staff arranged a sleepover so the kids could stay the night. Olly and I had lovely cuddles. Abi drew a picture of a flower on my whiteboard. It makes me so happy to see that from my bed. 

“Knowing they can spend time with me whenever we want is the most important thing. If I had been in hospital, that would not have happened.  

“The staff have helped me to have conversations with them about what is happening and will happen. That is so hard, but I’ve felt supported to do that. 

“I feel at peace. I just can’t believe that I don’t have to pay for anything.” 

Sara died peacefully at the hospice on 22 April, surrounded by the people she loved. Abi and Olly Walked the Wight in Sara’s memory in May. 

Olly has been supported by our bereavement team to adjust to the death of his mum. 

Your donations, fundraising, and volunteering change how Island families experience death, dying, and bereavement. Thank you.  

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