A daughter has spoken out about the “wonderful” care given to her mum at Wheatfields Hospice as she pledged her support for the charity’s new Mother’s Day fundraising campaign.
Amanda Allsopp’s mum Anne Bradder died aged 73 in the Headingley hospice where she spent her final days after being diagnosed with idopathic pulmonary fibrosis - a chronic lung disease - in 2014.
The great-grandmother has spent time in hospital being treated for the condition but after learning it was terminal, knew that that was not where she wanted to die.
Amanda said: “She was declining really fast. She wasn’t in the right place. Staff were so busy, they didn’t really have much time to dedicate to her. And it took a long time to talk to any doctor or have the results of her tests.
“I know my mum wished to be cared for and die at home, but she soon realised that dad could not cope with it. He really struggled with mum’s illness and for a long time he was in complete denial.
“Even if the idea of going to a hospice completely terrified her and me, mum knew that she needed specialist care and she felt neither home nor the hospital was the right place.”
But Amanda said, despite them all “dreading” the idea of a hospice, at Sue Ryder Wheatfields “everything was better”.
She said: “There is this wonderful peaceful feeling embracing you. You almost feel like someone is hugging you.
“We were able to go home with the reassurance she was in a safe place. When you go visiting, you can just focus on having a good time with your loved one, because they take care of everything else. She had her own room so that we could have some privacy. Staff were always at hand if you needed. You didn’t feel a nuisance if suddenly you burst into tears. There was always a nurse around ready to comfort you and offer some help if you were upset. We had also some good laughs. Being able to stay with mum whenever we wanted has helped us to build some precious memories of her last few days with us.
“When her time came, mum died peacefully and with dignity. We were there holding her hands and that was it, she was gone. This is exactly how she wanted to die, surrounded by her family.”
Through the Mother’s Day campaign, the hospice hopes to raise enough funds to cover the cost of running all its care services for one day.
All the services provided by the hospice are completely free to patients and their loved ones, but it costs the hospice £11,000 every day to keep its doors open.
Only part of these costs is covered by statutory funds while more than 50 per cent is covered by voluntary donations.
To donate, visit www. http://bit.ly/2EV8SBj
**This year the hospice is also launching a five-mile ‘Walk for Wheatfields’ on Saturday March 10, along the Meanwood Valley trail to Golden Acre Park. For details, visit www.sueryder.org/wheatfieldswalk.