Farah Shabbir from the south side of Glasgow explains why The Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice is a place very close to her heart.
My family’s first experience of the hospice was when my brother-in-law Mohammed Islam was a patient suffering from lung cancer. He was only 50.
He was at home most of the time and came into the hospice for the last few weeks of his life. The great thing about the hospice was that he could get the continual care he needed because at home we weren’t able to.
What really made the difference was that family members could be with him at any time and they weren’t made to feel they were getting in the way. When he passed away about 50 to 60 people were there with him. The family could all be with him, and that was very important.
And then my sister Zareena was in the hospice for two weeks and passed away on 4 October 2016. She was 58 and had stomach cancer.
We looked after her at home for as long as we could, then went to hospital first and then when they said they couldn’t do any more for her she was transferred to the hospice.
The fact that she went there, where her husband passed away, really made her feel at ease. She had seen how it had been for him and probably felt very sentimental about it, though she wasn’t expressing much at the time.
She was in her own room, it was quite a big room, so family members could be with her and pray with her without disturbing the staff.
My sister was very happy with the care she received at the hospice. Any time the nurses came in they were always very happy and smiley and very patient. She appreciated that a lot and made any effort to smile back even though she was too weak to talk.
The last two weeks of her life at the hospice was probably the best place she could have been after home because of the level of care provided by the staff and volunteers.
I went back to the hospice a year after my sister Zareena’s death for an event with mixed emotions. When I parked outside and walked up the steps to come into the Coffee and Samosa Morning I felt immense sadness. I didn’t know how I would feel when I went through the door or if I might break down. Once inside, it wasn’t all sad memories, it was feelings of peace and calm. The memories are of the experiences and because the experience had been good the memories were good ... the welcoming atmosphere and friendly faces made me feel at ease almost immediately.
The love, compassion and commitment shown by the volunteers is something I've not experienced elsewhere, it is above and beyond what is called for. They are all amazing people.
I have now decided to volunteer in the hospice to give something back. I definitely want to put some time aside for the hospice as the work done there is invaluable.
I would urge my friends to donate time, services and money for this noble cause.