Billy and Eric’s mum, Tricia, died at Warwick Myton Hospice in March, right at the start of lockdown in England due to the Coronavirus pandemic. They have shared their experience of Myton’s care, and the difference it made to them as a family:
Our mum, Tricia Sanchez, was diagnosed with Stage 4 Small Cell Lung Cancer in June 2019 and faced her disease with humour and great courage.
A native of Glasgow, Tricia had lived almost equal parts of her 76 years as a child and young woman in Scotland, a married mum of two sons in Zambia, Africa, and a widow and disabilities fundraiser in Leamington Spa, England. She was intelligent, beautiful, sociable and full of strong opinions, and never ‘feart’ to express them.
We both live in other countries - her eldest son, Billy, living in Donegal, Ireland and her second son, Eric, based in the Middle East - but once Tricia was diagnosed we both took it in turns to stay with our mum in her apartment in Leamington and help care for her up until her passing a few moments after midnight on the 30th March 2020.
The last two weeks of her life were spent in the amazing care of Warwick Myton Hospice. Tricia had wanted to stay at home until the end but as the cancer metastasized to her brain in January 2020 the effects were quickly evident and devastating; she lost control of her body, her speech, her thoughts.
Our mum had superb care from her wonderful GP, the District Nurses and the South Warwickshire cross-discipline care teams. But, we were soon exhausted, overwhelmed emotionally and mentally, constantly worrying. The final straw was when mum had a night fall and bashed her head. It was a great relief when we heard there was a bed for her on Myton’s Inpatient Unit.
With the calm atmosphere, the professionalism of the doctors and nurses, the ambience of the lovely room, she was soon stabilized and comfortable.
A week into her stay at Myton, the government announced the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown, which was a time of great uncertainty for everyone. But, the team at Myton were immediately reassuring, making sure we, her sons, were able to continue visiting safely, but most importantly, confirming that Tricia would not be moved from the hospice while the national emergency continued.
Just as they cared for mum they also cared for us, her sons.
The doctors and nurses were always available to tell us what was going on, they kept us topped up with tea and coffees and smiles, and in the last few days gave us the use of a family room to sleep and freshen up.
We spent that last two weeks with mum, the three of us together every day, supported by discreet and superb care, able to just concentrate on being close to each other for the time we had left.
Our mum died peacefully in her sleep. Tricia will be missed by us all; sons, daughters-in-law, six grandchildren, as well as childhood, lifelong and new friends.
She wasn’t at home when she passed, but it was, no question, the nearest place to home she could have been. And, for that, we will always be so grateful.
Billy and Eric MacInnes
Though it was almost impossible for her to speak, she was so happy to have family and friends visit, enjoying the proximity of people who loved her, in a warm, safe and secure environment.
Along with their families, Billy and Eric donated £3,000 to Myton as a ‘thank you’ for their mum’s care. It was Tricia’s wish for a donation to be made to Myton in her memory, and we are incredibly touched by this generous gesture.
To hear such incredible feedback and know that we have been able to make a real difference, even amidst a global pandemic, perfectly sums up our unwavering commitment to providing care and support for terminally ill patients, and their families, in our inpatient beds and in the community.
We have had to change the way we work in response to Covid-19 but our dedication to the cause remains the same. Whilst all inpatient care has moved to Coventry for the last few months, we are looking forward to returning to Warwick Myton Hospice in September.
is the daily upkeep cost of our relatives accommodation
could fund two hours of specialist nursing care
could fund three children's counselling sessions
covers the cost of a patient's meals for one week
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 three children's counselling sessions
Your donation covers the cost of a patient's meals for one week
Every donation helps us to provide quality end of life care