Kate’s Story

 

Kate Miles was able to have some control over her death thanks to The Myton Hospices.

 

When she was told she had a matter of weeks left to live, she decided she wanted to spend that time at home.

 

Kate had been having dizzy spells in 2018 and scans revealed she had brain metastases. Her prognosis was not good; she and her family were told she would have just weeks left to live if she didn’t have chemotherapy, and no more than a few short months if she did.

 

The Myton Hospices - Kate Miles - People's Stories Header - Leamington Spa Warwick Coventry Rugby

 

Her son, Steven, explains:

My sister Kati and I did lots of research when we found out – as you do! We spoke to mum and told her she had a choice; at that moment she was well and not in any pain but if she had chemo she would likely become ill. What is the difference between weeks and months? Especially if those months are going to be spent feeling unwell from chemotherapy. She was so relieved and said ‘you’re right, I do have a choice,’ and she decided not to have chemo.

He remembers how his mum defied the initial prognosis and lived for three months. During that time the Myton at Home team came to meet Kate and her family.

The Myton Hospices - Kate Miles - People's Stories Header - Leamington Spa Warwick Coventry Rugby

Steven and Kati both moved back to their parents’ house to care for Kate.

She was fiercely independent and wanted to continue to live as normally as possible for as long as she could. As specialist equipment like walking sticks, wheelchairs, toilet seats and even a new bed arrived, Steven and Kati would hide it from their mum and retrieve it only when she decided she needed it.

 

It was a difficult journey for her because she used to be a home care manager and this time she was on the other side of the situation. After about two and a half months of caring for mum, we were exhausted and wondering what was going on as we thought we only had a matter of weeks left with her. We were up all night, my sister was literally a nurse.

We had lots of support from district nurses and Macmillan nurses. Mum wanted to stay at home until the end but the further along we went, we realised there were things which you have to do which you don’t ever imagine having to do for your parent like taking them to the toilet, administering suppositories. One day I told Kati I couldn’t cope anymore and phoned Myton because we were so desperate. We had been coping so well until then. Then Myton was there every single day, several times a day. It made it possible for us to keep mum at home right up until the end. When the Myton at Home team came in it was about care, but one of the nurses, Maddy, would also do mum’s nails and she really looked forward to that.

Myton enabled Kate to feel in control of her death. And for her family, the most important thing was that they had no regrets, and nothing left unsaid once they found out there time together was limited.

The Myton Hospices - Kate Miles - People's Stories Header - Leamington Spa Warwick Coventry Rugby

 

Kate Miles was able to have some control over her death thanks to The Myton Hospices.

 

When she was told she had a matter of weeks left to live, she decided she wanted to spend that time at home.

 

Kate had been having dizzy spells in 2018 and scans revealed she had brain metastases. Her prognosis was not good; she and her family were told she would have just weeks left to live if she didn’t have chemotherapy, and no more than a few short months if she did.

The Myton Hospices - Kate Miles - People's Stories Header - Leamington Spa Warwick Coventry Rugby

 

Steven feels blessed that his mum had such a good life; she was a Labour activist, he remembers lying in front of tanks at Greenhall Common as a child, demonstrating against nuclear arms, supporting the miners’ strikes.

 

Kate had lived a full life, all in 68 years.

 

In the spirit of making Kate’s funeral a celebration of her life, Steven asked her what she thought about having a flash-mob choir in the congregation and she was thrilled by the idea! On the day, only Steven and Kati knew what was going to happen when Steven finished his eulogy.

 

One of the choir started walking from the back of the crematorium singing a Phil Collins song. As he passed other choir members in the congregation they stood up and joined in.

 

Around 30 people – plus a few confused friends and family at the funeral – finished their song at the front of the crematorium and rounded off the ceremony in a unique style.

 

The Myton Hospices - Kate Miles - People's Stories Header - Leamington Spa Warwick Coventry Rugby

It was great, everyone loved it and the crematorium said no one had ever done a flash mob there before. My grandmother – mum’s mum – thought it was brilliant. I think you should celebrate that person and the impact they had on everyone else’s life. I know it’s not easy for people to do, death is hard.

When we found out mum was dying, Kati and I planned out what we wanted and to make sure we and mum didn’t have any regrets. The whole journey has made me unafraid of death and what happens. Mum got what she wanted by being able to be at home to die.

The Myton Hospices - Kate Miles - People's Stories Header - Leamington Spa Warwick Coventry Rugby

Could you help support The Myton Hospices to ensure we can continue to deliver our care free of charge?

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£25

is the daily upkeep cost of our relatives accommodation

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£50

could fund two hours of specialist nursing care

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£80

could fund a child to attend five bereavement counselling sessions

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£106

covers the cost of one Myton at Home visit

The Myton Hospices Care Leamington Rugby Coventry Warwickshire Nurse Patient Children
The Myton Hospices Care Leamington Rugby Coventry Warwickshire Nurse Patient Children
The Myton Hospices Care Leamington Rugby Coventry Warwickshire Nurse Patient Children
The Myton Hospices Care Leamington Rugby Coventry Warwickshire Nurse Patient Children

Your donation is the daily upkeep cost of our relatives accommodation

Your donation could fund two hours of specialist nursing care

Your donation could fund a child to attend five bereavement counselling sessions

Your donation covers the cost of one Myton at Home visit

Every donation helps us to provide quality end of life care



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