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Ailsa's Story

Ailsa’s Story: “You just felt so comfortable knowing there was a whole team of people to support us”

27th February 2023

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It was in March of 2021 when Ailsa Frew’s mother, Peggy, started to feel unwell. By July, she had been diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer, and that’s when Weldmar stepped in.

Jo Sibley, their locally based Weldmar Community Nurse, came out to visit and Ailsa said Jo put them at ease straight away.

“We felt better within seconds. Jo explained everything that she could do, and asked Mum lots of questions. I could see Mum’s face lighting up, because she thought it all sounded so good.”

It wasn’t the first time the family had needed the services of Weldmar. “My father died at the Inpatient Unit in Dorchester about sixteen years ago,” Ailsa explains. “The hospice was just the most amazing place to be if you know that your loved one is going to die. They know how to look after you and have the time to look after you. The moment you walk through the door you know that the right people are there to look after that person.”

Where her Mum’s care was concerned, it was the lines of communication that Jo opened that particularly impressed Ailsa. “She was in contact with the GP regularly, and worked very closely with the district nurses – who were equally as helpful and kind – and you felt everything was joined up.”

Jo initially paid visits each week, which became more frequent as Peggy’s condition deteriorated. She made sure the medication was right, would offer advice on good things to eat, and also ensure Ailsa and her brother were coping.

“Jo was always so helpful, and always return calls by the end of the day. If we asked something and she didn’t know the answer she said she would find out and get back to us, which she always did”

Ailsa said the family made use of Weldmar’s 24 Hour Advice Line, too. “With 111 you have to answer so many questions every time you call, but being able to call Weldmar directly meant someone at the hospice would be able to get Mum’s notes up straight away and offer the advice we needed. It didn’t matter what we threw at them, they would always be able to help.”

“Weldmar made things much easier for us. You just felt so comfortable knowing there was a whole team of people there to support us and look after Mum. It meant everything, and was outstanding.”

Thank you to Ailsa for sharing her story, which helps us to highlight the work of our Weldmar Community Nurses across Dorset.

This article appears in the latest edition of the Weldmar Supporter Magazine, which is available to pick up for free from your closest Weldmar Hospicecare shop or outlet.

If you would like to share the story of your Weldmar journey, we would love to hear from you. Please contact james.oneill@weld-hospice.org.uk.


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