Death can be a difficult conversation to have with anyone, especially a loved one who is ill, but it is a conversation Laura Tyler knew she had to have when her mum, Carol Tyler, was diagnosed with a terminal illness in 2009.
In 2001, at the age of 52, Carol was diagnosed with Kidney cancer which then spread to her lungs.
Despite the various types of treatment Carol received over the years, in 2009 Carol was told her illness would no longer respond to curative treatment.
The mother of two, who lived in Warwick, first came to Myton in July 2013 for respite care. The clinical team managed to regulate her pain relief and after a week Carol was able to go home.
Laura, Carol’s daughter, believes coming to Myton encouraged her mum to make decisions about the care she would like to receive at the end of her life:
I think because she had been at Myton for that short time she was very comfortable. It was following this experience that my mum decided that when the time came she wanted to be at Myton whereas before we hadn’t even broached the subject.
During her time at Myton, Carol also became close to one of the pastoral and spiritual care volunteers, Jill Duffy.
Laura said her mum took a real sense of calm from religion and also from talking to Jill. When Carol was discharged from Myton, she invited Jill to her home with Laura and they had an honest and open conversation about death, a conversation Laura feels was comforting for both her and her mum.
Shortly after returning home from Myton, Carol’s health started to deteriorate and she was referred back to Myton.
I have to say a sense of relief was felt by all of us when we knew mum was going to Myton because we had experienced it before and we therefore knew how warm and caring it was.’ Laura added, ‘Despite it being such a devastating time in my life, the real overriding feeling was just gratitude- I was so grateful she at Myton.
Carol sadly died at Warwick Myton Hospice on 8th August 2013. Laura described her mum as an incredibly loving, warm and friendly individual who was an amazing mum to both her and her brother.