Still making last wishes happen Mountbatten Hospice Heroes: Still here for you Last wishes can still be made possible, even through the coronavirus pandemic. “He hasn’t been home because he’s been so unwell,” said Consultant Nurse Jackie Whiller, She oversees the hospice ward where arrangements are being made for what might be a patient’s last ever trip home. Going the extra mile is not unusual; the coronavirus might have forced changes such as PPE, but if someone expresses a last wish, everything possible will be done to make that happen. “He’s a quiet and private person, but we caught him on the phone to a friend telling them that we are taking him home for a couple of hours. He was so animated and excited; we’ve not seen him like that before.” “A nurse in full PPE will stay with him and accompany him back to the hospice. He might get home again after that, he might not, but at least he will have had chance to be in that home environment again for a couple of hours.” Restricted visiting on the hospice ward has been a difficult decision for us to make but is a necessary protection. “Patients are a little more isolated than usual and that’s not normally how a hospice works,” said Jackie. Technology such as Skype is proving helpful, however. “One lady whose son is in Australia is calling him every day at 2pm, it’s amazing. Another lady had not even seen the technology before and had not been able to see her sons for two weeks – she was so shocked to see them. We could see through the door, her face was beaming!” Saying goodbye to a loved one in lockdown is perhaps the biggest challenge. A patient had been adamant to go home; her two sons who were in London wanted to say goodbye but visiting would be a challenge due to current visiting arrangements. “It’s so upsetting, but what do you do? You’ve got to protect people on the hospice ward,” said Jackie. Still determined to leave the hospice, Jackie took her home and spent a couple of hours with her. “I was just about to leave when her two boys turned up. Sadly, she died the next day but the fact her boys got home was amazing. It melted your heart that she was still able to wave to them before she died.” “It’s about trying to achieve someone’s last wishes. It made a difference to that family and those memories will live on,” Jackie added. Because of your donations to our coronavirus appeal, we can still make last wishes happen. Your donations mean we can give a patient one last trip home. Your donations mean we can help loved ones say goodbye even in lockdown. Thank you. Please help us to continue our work, donate now.