Ann Tyrell

Hospice: Sunshine Coast Hospice
Name of patient: Ann Tyrell
Written by: Husband (name unknown)
Diagnosis: Cancer
Message: Hospices are often misunderstood as buildings where patients spend their final days. Our members actually focus on enhancing quality of life and 90% of the care they provide is home-based.

From the Beatles song “yesterday”, all my troubles seem so far away. Until a terminal illness hits you, a family member or a dear friend. Family, friends, your church offer a wealth of support in all kinds of ways; be it transport, spending time with the loved one, having communion at home. The list is endless and the people from all walks of life who offer assistance.

Ann, my wife of 48 years was diagnosed with terminal cancer in October 2021.

At first the word terminal hits you and you feel you are spinning out of control. This happens to other people, not us, there is still so much to do. We still have memories to make. Then the process starts, you want to fight it, you want to live. Chemotherapy, radiation therapy but the downhill slide continues, the word terminal is always there.

Coming back to support, there is one institution that a terminally ill patient can be thankful for and we, the Tyrrell family thank God for, is the Sunshine Coast Hospice. Without their support we would most probably have found ourselves under severe stress; having to care for the patient at home without specialized assistance. I was advised to phone hospice, which I did. The Nursing Sister Karen Stirk and Dr Barbara Matthews, came to the house, assessed our needs, gave advice on the way forward and have been with us every step of the way on this journey that we did not ask for. All our requirements are catered for; be it a wheelchair, special cushions, walkers, you name it, they supplied it. Checking in on the patient is regular, whatsapp and cell phone availability is at all times. Dr Matthews also sees to all the patients’ medicinal requirements.

I, as Ann’s husband and carer would not have been able to care for her without the assistance of the hospice staff. I could have bought and hired all the equipment required but you cannot buy love, caring and dedication that comes from special people like the two people I have mentioned who give their time and expertise to hospice caring for the terminally ill.