Ann is 35 years old and a mother of three children. She has oesophageal cancer. Ann’s husband used to earn a living as a motorbike taxi driver, but providing full time care for Ann and the children meant he could no longer work. To pay for treatment they sold the few possessions they owned – TV, sofa and even kitchen utensils. Ann was able to undergo surgery to fit a gastronomy feeding tube, but the family received no training on how to care for or clean the tube and no follow up appointments. Eventually she was referred to Malindi Palliative Care unit where the nurses immediately paid her a visit at home.
Three months after Ann’s surgery, palliative care nurse Alice found that the surgical stitches had still not been removed. Ann was very unwell and had no pain relief. Alice removed the stitches and showed Ann’s husband how to clean the gastronomy tube. She also provided Ann with medicines and morphine for the pain.
Malindi palliative care nurses will now provide regular care for Ann, making sure she is comfortable and that her husband and family are supported. Ann’s husband said that their biggest worry is how they will pay their rent as they depend completely on small donations from people in their community. With regular home visits from the palliative care unit, for free, Ann’s husband is grateful for the help and for lifting the burden of the cost of her care. He even thinks he may be able to work a few hours each week to support his family.
Like Ann, many patients are too sick or too poor to travel to a hospice, and many now fear the risk of contracting Covid-19. It costs just £50 to provide regular home visits and medicines to a patient over 3 months. Please DONATE and help us improve the lives of those in need with compassionate home-based palliative care.