Five siblings have donated two iPads to the Palliative Care Unit at Ipswich Hospital in memory of their late parents.
The donation by siblings Sheila, Sara, Ian, Helen and Celia fulfilled their father’s last wish by giving other palliative care patients the means to communicate with their loved ones during COVID-19 restrictions.
Both of their parents passed away in 2021 after lengthy illnesses.
One sibling, Helen Jarvis, said the palliative care team at Ipswich Hospital respected and supported her parents’ wishes to pass away at home.
“My mum had dementia, and Dad was her primary carer. His journey with prostate cancer started 14 years ago, so it was a tough role for Dad. That’s why we stepped in and did what we could to look after them.
“But we couldn’t have done it without the support of the palliative care team. They made the experience so much more pleasant. We always knew the palliative care team was there for us when things got difficult.”
Helen’s sister Sara said her parents settled in Camira after migrating to Australia in 1974 and brought up nine children in the house where they lived for 47 years.
“That was their castle,” Sara said. “They didn’t want to be in the hospital at the end of their journey, so giving them the ability to pass away at home was huge.
“Dad was mostly at home with us caring for him, and the palliative care team would visit to give him a tune-up. Dad had a couple of days in the hospital to adjust his medication, and then came back home when he was stable.
“COVID made it difficult to contact Dad when he was in hospital as he couldn’t use a mobile phone. One of his last wishes was to donate some iPads. Hopefully other families will benefit from being able to see their loved one on FaceTime or Skype. Every minute with your loved one counts at the end of their journey.”
Palliative Care Unit Acting Nurse Unit Manager, Kylie-Anne Dempster, said the donation would mean a lot to patients and their families.
“COVID restrictions have brought many challenges that we’ve never had to deal with before,” Ms Dempster said. “Not being able to be with a loved one at the end of their life greatly affects patients and their families. Now they will be able to communicate with their loved one via FaceTime thanks to this thoughtful donation.”
Ms Dempster said she remembered the siblings’ father Colin very well, describing him as “a very strong character with a very gentle soul”.
To find out how you can give back to the community through a donation to your local public hospital, visit: https://www.ihfoundation.org.au or visit the Ipswich Hospital Foundation office at 1 Bell Street, Ipswich.