Susan, a faith community nurse, describes a situation where her intervention has made a difference to a family in her community.
A mother of preschoolers was diagnosed with breast cancer, she and her husband were from one of the Pacific Islands and did not have any local family support. The family was referred to Susan at a time when they were confused, scared and overwhelmed by the situation. Susan was able to accompany the couple to both GP and specialist appointments and after each specialist appointment the three of them would go to the hospital chapel where Susan could go through the information that they had been given and answer any questions; they also prayed together. Mary, the lady being described, had a strong Christian faith and her husband, Bill, was a Muslim. Mary had to go to a distant city for her surgery and later for radiotherapy. Bill was not able to go with her because he needed to care for the young children. Susan was able to arrange for a support person from the community to be with Mary for both of those hospital stays; she also organised for help from the community for meals for the family. At various stages of this journey Mary was able to phone Susan to discuss anything she was worried about. One year on Mary is back at work and involved in her local community. Susan feels very privileged to have been able to support the family at this difficult time of their lives.