Nursing over Christmas

This Christmas, many people living with a terminal illness will rely on the expert care that Marie Curie Nurses provide to allow them to enjoy their last Christmas on their own terms. 

Liz MacKinnon, a Marie Curie Nurse from Comiston, remembers one particular Christmas when she cared for a lady preparing to celebrate the season surrounded by family. “It was Christmas last year,” says Liz, “and I went out to care for a wee lady whom I had visited several times before, who had outlived her initial prognosis by about a year.

“On Christmas Eve I went to her house to provide overnight nursing care. She was so appreciative of the visit as she wanted her two daughters to be at home with their families, hanging stockings for the wee ones. Without my care that wouldn’t have been possible, as she was prone to panic attacks during the night and needed someone at her side.

A present for the family

“Christmas had always been special to her, as she had a big extended family and they took it in turns to go to each other’s houses. She had accepted it would be her last Christmas and she’d decided she was taking her entire family out for Christmas Day lunch; it was her present to them. That Christmas eve, I helped her pick out her outfit for the next day. 

“On Christmas Day I helped her shower and dress and did her hair before she went to meet her family. When I saw her again on New Year’s Eve she told me she’d had a brilliant Christmas and that it was one of the best she’d ever had. The lady went on to have a good quality of life, spending time with her family and going out to the shops when she wanted to. She died three months later.

Help give a priceless gift

“The memory of that Christmas will stay with me. We’re all thinking about Christmases past at this time, and although when the lady’s family look back there'll be sadness because she’s gone, they’ll remember their last Christmas with her as a special one.”

We urgently need your help this Christmas so that others like the lady Liz cared for can receive vital support and help. Please consider funding an hour of nursing care  and help us give a priceless gift this Christmas.