‘My Mum’ by Chanel Platts
Help us to be here for people like Chanel and her Mum. You never know when you might need the support of LOROS
We first met Chanel earlier this year when she applied for a position at the Hospice. Her enthusiasm and passion for LOROS was evident, as she chatted about her many fundraising activities, including the Leicester to Skegness cycle challenge. It’s here that we learned about her experience of LOROS, and what LOROS meant to her and her family. Chanel wanted to support the Winter Warmer Raffle to help raise awareness of LOROS and the services available to people who really need it.
In memory of my beautiful Mum -
28.5.1974 – 25.12.2019
'We have a bed available for your Mum at LOROS’. One simple sentence that sent a million emotions running through our heads and our hearts. 'Why have they suggested LOROS?' 'What is going to happen when she gets there?' 'Is Mum going to come home?'
An overwhelming sense of anxiety struck our family all over again. The initial fear of Mum being admitted to LOROS, was almost as terrifying as when we were given the heart-breaking news that she had stage 4 metastatic lung cancer, at age 43.
Mum’s terminal diagnosis was devastating, but living through it by her side was harder than I ever imagined. Throughout her journey, she was an inspiration, not only to me, but to so many others. Her positivity and motivation shone through like a sunbeam, and this showed in her personal Facebook Blog, 'Nurse with the big 'C'urse.' Mum proudly qualified as a Nurse in 2016, working at Warwickshire Hospital and then as a Community Nurse.
Over time, we had to care for Mum more and more, as her needs became more complex, but thanks to her openness, we knew how she felt, what to do, and what she wanted.
The day Mum was admitted to LOROS was so frightening, we just didn’t know what to expect. When we arrived, a Health Care Assistant was waiting for Mum in reception. She introduced herself and then fetched a wheelchair. It all feels like a blur now, but I do remember the lady smiling at us. Just that smile and a few kind words took a little bit of the world off our shoulders. We followed her to where Mum was going to be staying, and what took me by surprise was how friendly everybody was on our way round. A simple 'Hey, are you guys okay?' was said with such kindness and compassion. It was the first time in a while I felt I could say 'actually, no, please can you help us'. Doctors and nurses came to visit throughout the day and we settled into our life at LOROS.
As cliché as it sounds, the feeling that LOROS brought to our family is nothing I can describe in words. The brightness of the staff actually brought light to some of our darkest days. One of the most cherished memories I have of LOROS is walking into Mums room one day, to a Nurse decorating a little Christmas tree with baubles. The smile on Mum’s face is a memory that I will cherish forever.
By this point in Mum’s journey, the tumour had metasised to her brain; this is when things became even more difficult. Mums Consultant and Palliative Care Nurse were absolutely incredible. They both came to the house on many occasions to speak with Mum about her care plan, and how they could help with pain management. And even though they were really busy, they took the time to sit down and chat to me and my Step Dad over the phone, and in person, about our worries and concerns. Without that support, I’m not sure how we would have all coped at that time.
Mum was a patient on the ward at LOROS for 2 weeks in December 2019. It didn't take long at all for my perception of LOROS to change. Several staff members visited Mum from the Complimentary Therapy team. Quite often Mum would be asleep, so we were offered relaxation therapy, such as back, head and hand massages. I cannot think of anywhere else that would happen. It’s the small things that can make such a big difference to your day. Mum made it home around mid-December, but sadly lost her fight on Christmas Day.
I am not really sure how you come to terms with such devastating news about your Mum, and then go on to care for her in this way, but LOROS helped me feel less alone. If I ever heard anybody say ‘oh, a Hospice’, I would take them aside and share my experience with them. I pray that terminal illness doesn’t affect our family again, but if it does, I hope that LOROS are still there to help me and my family through it. And that’s why I wanted to share my story, because without your support, this may not be possible.
Players must be 18 or over. Fundraising responsibly. Be gamble aware begambleaware.org. All participants of LOROS Lotteries Limited games must be a resident of Great Britain.
The Winter Warmer Raffle 2020 will close on Sunday 6th December and the draw will take place on 16th December 2020. For more information about our raffle, how it supports the Hospice and our terms and conditions, follow this link to our Gambling and You page.