A True Testament of a Mother
“They helped us, I will help them,” says bereaved mother“
A true testament of a mother’s love is currently unfolding in the Stepping Stone Hospice In-Patient Unit, a reality so harsh, yet at the same time, so heartbreakingly beautiful. A mother who refuses to leave her dying daughter’s side, who sleeps in a chair next to her bed, and only leaves her daughters room when she goes outside to smoke, “and to cry, because I will not cry in front of my daughter.” Hazel van Rooyen showers in the unit, she eats in the unit, and she oversees the daily visits of her grandchildren when they come to see their mother.
With Hazel’s permission, we are sharing the story of her 35-year old daughter, Angie van Wyk, who in January this year was diagnosed with Stage 4 pelvic cancer. Herself a young mother, Angie will leave behind her 10-year old daughter, JC Leigh and 7-year old son, Recce. Yes, they know their mother is dying, and this will be the second time in their young lives that they will be facing the loss of a parent. Their father died in a car accident in October 2014.
“I’m fully aware of the fact that this hospice is facing a financial crisis and I can only pray that they will get the support they need to keep their doors open,” says Hazel. ‘What they have done, and are still doing, not just for my Angie, but for her children and for me – words can never describe the level of care and comfort we have all received and are still receiving.”
Whilst a committed nursing team ensures that Angie’s physical symptoms such as nausea and pain, stay under control, the psycho-social team is on hand to counsel the family with special focus on Hazel and Angie’s two children. “Both children are actually doing remarkably well under the circumstances,” says Hazel, “and I can only contribute that to the special care they receive from the counsellors and the rest of the staff here.
It’s been just over a month since Angie was admitted to the In-Patient Unit in New Market Park. “She’s spent weeks in hospitals during and after her radiation treatment and then a month at my house before I brought her to Stepping Stone Hospice. Neither the medical staff at the hospitals nor I could get her pain and nausea under control. If only I had brought her to Stepping Stone Hospice earlier, she is now calm, mostly pain-free and she gets 24-hour intensive palliative care,” says a tearful Hazel.
Hazel has now joined an army of Hospice supporters fighting to keep the hospice’s doors open. “We cannot afford for this facility to close down,” says Hazel. If we all sign a debit order, as little as R50 a month, I know it will make a difference. If I can do nothing else for my daughter, I will do this, I will help fight to keep this place, where she found peace and her dignity, and where her family could find closure, I will help fight to keep the doors open,” says Hazel.
If you can see your way open to offer financial assistance, you can click on the link below to complete an on-line debit form in a totally secure on-line platform.Complete Online Debit Order Form
Alternatively a donation can be made into the bank account:
Stepping Stone Hospice
Account No: 4086095643
Branch code 632005
Ref: PATIENT CARE.
Messages of love from Angie’s children, proudly displayed on the walls of her room in the In-Patient Unit.
Hazel van Rooyen (left) in discussion with one of the hospice’s counsellors, Ann Venter.
Angie being cared for the clinical team headed up by Sister Sheryl Newman.