A story from Dora

Dora's story

Dora has been a public health nurse and a practice nurse in her rural community and is now working as a FCN. She knew a family where the husband had dementia, we will call him Fred, and he was being cared for at home by family and caregivers.

Fred developed a lesion on his tongue which was seen by his GP who initially thought was dental irritation. Dora continued to keep an eye on this. After some time the lesion was diagnosed as malignant and Fred was offered extensive surgery. Fred had a close and caring family they were all unsure about whether to go ahead with surgery due to the complications of the dementia. Dora was asked by the family to lead a family conference where the pros and cons were all discussed. After a lengthy discussion and prayer time the decision was made that the surgery would not be taken up. Up until a couple of weeks before Fred was admitted for terminal care he enjoyed trips away with his wife and special family time. During the time that he was in the rural hospital for end of life care a family
member stayed each night with Fred in order to alleviate the confusion that Fred was suffering from. One night no family member was available and so Dora was privileged to spend that time with Fred, they heard a baby being born in the room next door and it reminded Fred of lambing time. Since Fred died Dora has provided follow up care for the family and is greeted with a hug when she meets them in her community.