Our Stories

Mary's Story

My husband Michael died on 14 Nov 2010, only 6 months from being diagnosed with metastases on his liver in May 2010. He was 68.

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Kerry's Story

Kerry’s daughter, Stephanie died after aggressive brain cancer immobilised her. She was aged 22. At diagnosis three years earlier, there were medical specialists aplenty. In death, no weekend doctors were on duty while she was in palliative care.

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James' Story

In the throes of pain as she was dying at home, James’ wife, Fiona Murphy couldn’t get the specialist medical care she needed to alleviate her cancer pain for one reason: her pain didn’t fit into the system’s 8:30am to 5pm schedule.

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Nicole's Story

Every death is different but when specialist palliative carers are on the frontline, a distressing death can be made easier. For Nicole, of Sydney, hospital palliative carers were on hand when her husband Blake died in a physically confronting way, by bleeding out. 

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Rosemary's Story

Waiting 10 days for a family member to receive palliative care can be heart-wrenching but for medical practice manager Rosemary, the ramifications are widespread. Rosemary, from a nursing background, works in regional NSW and sees first-hand how stretched services drag everyone down.

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Leonie's Story

Wiradjuri junior Elder, Leonie McIntosh, was in the final throes of her PhD thesis when diagnosed with brain cancer after having difficulties navigating her computer while at work in regional New South Wales in 2015.

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Jennifer's Story

Waiting too long for palliative care causes needless pain for patients and families. For Jennifer Creal, timely pain management for her husband Christopher was lacking because of a two-week wait for specialist palliative care during a crucial time in his illness.

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Belinda's Story

Faced with a wait of at least two months for an appointment to see a specialist doctor to investigate constant pain, Belinda’s mother drove several hours from regional NSW to take her father to seek help at a clinic near her home in Sydney, where he was told he had oesophageal cancer.

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Juliette's Story

At the time of eminent Sydney head and neck surgeon, Professor Chris O’Brien AO’s death as a result of a malignant brain tumour, the words palliative care hadn’t been mentioned in his orbit. Death was the “elephant in the room”, says his family.

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Melanie's Story

“I just want to go home, let’s just go home, you can look after me there and stay with me” are the words etched in Sydney woman Melanie’s mind when she recollects the death of her father Robin as he sat in a hospital shortly before his death.

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Ann's Story

“Don’t think there’s any such thing as palliative care here because there’s no money for it” are the words spoken by a nurse at a regional NSW hospital that stick in Ann’s mind when she remembers the death of her mother.

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A GP's Story

Frontline GPs who deliver palliative care in NSW are doing it tough, primarily because they don’t have the time, lack specialist training and often scramble themselves to gain the support they need to offer care to the dying and their loved ones.

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Teena's Story

A cancer diagnosis and any mention of palliative care is troubling, but for Teena’s dad, Aboriginal community leader Frederick (Fred) Binge, extra hurdles that need not have been there, lay on his path. 

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Mitch's Story

When Mitch’s mum, Dianne, learned she would likely die as a result of metastasised breast cancer, her doctor told her she need not suffer pain. Dianne died in 2015 aged 69, six months after stopping active cancer treatment. In the end, her family says she was in dreadful pain that could have been prevented with better access to palliative care.

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