‘It was so important that mum and Jack could be together’  

Margaret Taylor with her beloved dog Jack
Margaret Taylor with her beloved dog Jack
Promoted by Rowans Hospice

Shelley Taylor talks about the care and support given by the Rowans to both her and her late mother, Margaret

I didn’t know what the Rowans Hospice did until last year. My mum, Margaret, was only in for a week before she died on November 14, 2017. It is still so raw, however I want to share our story as I hope that it will encourage people to support our local hospice.

It was just 10 weeks from when mum found out she had secondary liver cancer to when she passed away. It was literally that quick. Luckily she spent her last week in the Rowans, thanks to the amazing doctor who was looking after her on ward C6 who pushed for it to happen.

She was visibly happier when she arrived at the Rowans. The staff could give her the attention that she needed. The staff at the hospital were very good, but there is only so much they can do.

One day, when I was sat with her in her room, mum actually asked: ‘Do I have to go home?’

I replied: ‘Not if you don’t want to’.

Mum then looked at the nurse and me and said: ‘Can I stay here and die here?’ I just said: ‘If that is what you want mum, you can do exactly what you want to do.’

I would come and sit next to her every day. During this time she kept talking about the Christmas tree that she had bought in the new year sales. Finally, her best friend Lesley said: ‘Do you know what, we’re going to have to put that tree up as she wants to see it.’

We put it up in her room and, as we switched on the lights, my mum’s face just lit up. I will never forget it.

I was also able to bring in her dog, Jack. He had been her constant companion, so it was important they had opportunity to see each other.

The day before she died Jack jumped up on the bed and nudged her hand. As she lay quietly, he went up and licked her cheek.

I am so thankful these things were possible. Mum passed away peacefully, in comfort and I was able to be with her.

Since she died, I have had a lot of support from the Rowans, including a number of one-to-one sessions with counsellors as I was really struggling at the beginning.

I didn’t know about the amount of care and all of the support the Rowans gives. I hope that through sharing mine and my mum’s experience, the local community will donate to the Rowans Silver Jubilee Appeal.