Saf Akram’s sister Shabeena was 34 when she passed away at the hospice, after receiving treatment for breast cancer
Though she was very ill, Shabeena was determined to put her final months to good use.
All Shabeena wanted to do was raise money for those who had helped her. I remember her speaking about the new hospice, the Brick by Brick Appeal and the £21 million target,” says Saf. Shabeena stayed at the hospice for a few weeks until her pain management was under control, and that’s when Saf and the rest of the family had their first experience of hospice care.
There are no words to describe the excellent work the hospice does on a daily basis. Everything was taken care of: comfortable rooms, entertainment, unrestricted visiting, facilities for the family, friends and visitors, as well as family rooms,” says Saf.
There were a number of us who just went to work, came to the hospice, went home, slept, woke up and did it all again. There was nothing else we wanted to do, we wanted to spend as much time as we could with Shabeena. There were different people visiting all the time, friends and family we hadn’t seen for years, who all wanted to spend time with her.” Meanwhile, Shabeena’s four-year-old son Kaif received counselling at the hospice’s Butterfly Service. Shabeena went home for a while before returning to the hospice for her second, and final, stay. “I cannot describe to you the end-of-life care she received at the hospice. They dealt with everything to help make the moment as pain free and peaceful as possible. We’ll never forget that day. It’s almost as if a weight had been lifted off our shoulders: Shabeena was no longer in pain,” said Saf.
Shabeena’s legacy lives on through the September Foundation, set up by her family to fundraise for the hospice, enabling the same high standard of care to be given to others.
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