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You matter until the very last moment of your life

Posted By Marilynh / October 17, 2011 / 0 Comments

“You matter because you are. You matter until the very last moment of your life. And we will do all we can.  Not only to help you die peacefully.  But to live until you die.”
Dame Cicely Saunders – Founder of the Modern Day Hospice Movement

Lyn was such a joyful, energetic and vital woman that it was very easy to forget that she was battling cancer. However, her health took a dramatic downturn and we were so thankful to have spoken to her about St. Luke’s Hospice and the amazing and dedicated work of our Care Teams.  Very bravely, Lyn contacted St. Luke’s Hospice before this stage of her illness and we were secure in the knowledge that she and the family were receiving all the support and care they so badly needed.

Lyn spent a while in one of our wards at St. Luke’s in Kenilworth and her daughters took it turns to ‘sleep’ the night in the ward and witnessed the ‘round the clock’ gentle care of their mother by the staff. Nothing was too much trouble, even for the family, whatever the time of day or night. Finally, at home around 3 a.m. one morning, Lyn passed away. Her distraught young daughter ‘phoned our wonderful Sister in whose care Lyn had been. ‘Don’t do a thing,’ she said, ‘I’m on my way’. She was with the family at about 4.00 a.m. to make all the necessary arrangements and to give support to the devastated family members.

It has been a particularly hard year for Lyn’s family as she so wanted a grandchild before she died… Eva, a fragile babe with alabaster skin, was born at Christmas last year, just too late to meet her wonderful grandmother, but the family are certain she had her hand in Eva’s safe arrival. The loving care by our teams of nurses, social workers, spiritual counsellors and volunteers continues for thirteen months, supporting the grieving family through all the awful first year anniversaries.

All this is only possible with the generous support of our donors, for which we are enormously grateful. Legacies are particularly vital as they are paid into our investment account, which allows us to plan for the future care of our patients.

Look out for details on our Lighting of the Tree at St. Luke’s Hospice in Kenilworth, which is an event not to be missed, particularly if you have grandchildren. Their angelic faces lit by candlelight around our venerable Norfolk Pine ‘Christmas’ tree, make for a magical evening and, this year, little Eva will be one of those precious souls. ‘Candles’ in memory of your loved ones can be purchased ahead of the event through our Telesales team.

Please visit our website for more details on how you can help or if you require more information on the wonderful work of our palliative care team.

Article submitted by Jill Chiappini, Public Relations Consultant, St. Lukes Hospice

YEI would like to thank Lyn’s family for allowing us to publish this heartwarming story and the photographs of Lyn and her family. 



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  • Jilly
    November 3, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    On Wednesday, 2 November, during the epic St. Luke’s Hospice ‘Making a Difference’ Walk, one of the three sisters circumnavigating the hospice’s entire area of operation around greater Cape Town, Sister Yvonne Jackman, met and cuddled dear Lyn’s grandchild, Eva … hope to post a photo! All love to the family. Jilly

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