Pat and Maureen's story
Maureen Simpson’s sister Pat died of cancer nearly five years ago. Maureen tells us how the family were lifted by the ‘wonderful’ care given by a Marie Curie Nurse – and why throwing a Blooming Great Tea Party will make a difference to families.
“Pat used to live in Essex. She became ill and the hospital diagnosed her with cancer of the lung lining. Unfortunately, within a couple of months it had spread, so she moved to my niece’s in Norfolk. My two nieces both looked after her during this time.
Eventually they had to get the Marie Curie Nurses in. We went down there – my sister, my daughter and me – late one evening because my niece rang us to say it wasn’t looking very good. The nurse also asked my niece to ring her brother to call him back to the house, as he had been there most of the day but had gone home earlier.
There was a Marie Curie nurse who had been there for a couple of nights. There are no words to describe the care she gave Pat and the support she gave to the family. She was just fantastic with my sister. She was so loving. Wonderful, absolutely wonderful.
We were all in the lounge because Pat was resting in her bed that was set up in there. The nurse came in a couple of times just to check on her. She kept asking us all: ‘Are you all ok? Are you all alright?’ She would go and sit in the kitchen. She gave Pat space, which was lovely.
The nurse was holding my sister’s hand at one stage. She reassured Pat that she had all her family, all the love, around her. She said: “It’s ok to let go”. She was holding our hands, cuddling us. As it happens, Pat didn’t go then, she was fighting it. But the nurse was just so loving and supportive. My sister kept opening her eyes, just looking and smiling at us.
I don’t know what sort of words you can use. I suppose feeling safe. Pat had to go into the hospice a few days later, and she passed away there.
In my life I have been touched by some very beautiful people who happen to be Marie Curie Nurses. And they need more help to keep going, to provide that service. That’s why I want to do something.”
Maureen is throwing a Blooming Great Tea Party this summer to raise funds for Marie Curie Nurses. Get together with friends, family or colleagues and join in the fun.