When Johanna Nind watched our palliative care nurses injecting her father with morphine back in 1988, she never imagined that one day she would be cared for by our nurses too.
An intrepid traveller, Johanna had just returned from Borneo when her father was diagnosed with lung cancer and told he would be dead within eight weeks
“He used to work with asbestos at the airport,” she said.
As an only child, Johanna played a pivotal role in her Dad’s end-of-life care and one of her most vivid memories is of the support she and her mother (who died of bowel cancer at the age of 98) received from our nurses.
“They came every day to help with showering and injecting. Of course, the pain got worse and he needed more morphine and looking after but they looked after him for those six weeks and I’ve never forgotten that,” she said looking wistfully at his photo.
“Of course, now myself, I’m in the same situation,” she said. The 80 year old was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer last year.
Johanna says one of the things she values most about our service is the understanding, patience and empathy she receives from PCSE staff and the time they take to listen to her and find out about her emotional needs.
“You seem to understand what people are going through,” she said.
“I think you people understand and it’s more personal and, even though my doctor and some of the doctors that I have seen explain it, they don’t realise exactly how you actually feel.”
“At first it’s such a big shock when they tell you and you know it’s a death sentence, you know that.”
“It is a hard journey, but it’s life,” she said tearfully adding that she was grateful PCSE was still here to provide her with support.
And what would she most like to tell the team at PCSE?
“You are angels. You are angels from heaven.”
The latest evidence-based research suggests around 75% of Australians will need palliative care before they die.
You can help us support people like Johanna with access to 24 hour home-based care by making a tax deductible donation before 30th June. Donate here.