Departing with a Smile

Categories: Care, Featured, and People & Places.

“Towards the end of his life, my dad’s only wish was to spend time with his loved ones and depart with a smile. To seek palliative care is not to give up on treatment but rather to prioritize what is most important for the patient and family members,” Serin said about her father, Grandpa Wong.

Three years ago, Grandpa Wong learned that his wife was diagnosed with terminal vascular cancer. She was later admitted to the Jockey Club Home for Hospice (JCHH) where she passed away peacefully while accompanied by loved ones. In that moment, Grandpa Wong, who was in his eighties, turned to his family and said, “When it is my time, I wish to spend my final days here.”

Last year, Grandpa Wong was diagnosed with cancer after noticing abnormalities in his stool. “Severe abdominal pain, insomnia and other symptoms prevented my dad from living normally and he gradually lost the will to live. Not only were public hospitals unable to provide effective treatment, but also we could not visit him due to pandemic restrictions. We felt utterly hopeless,” recalled Serin. “Thankfully, JCHH extended a lifeline once again by granting my dad admission under the “Hospice Subsidy Bed Scheme.”

Meeting Every Need

Physical discomfort can be treated with medicine, but psychological health requires warmth and love that only a family can provide. With Grandpa Wong’s symptoms well-managed by the clinical team, his loved ones were able to tend to his emotional needs. “My dad did not have much time left and JCHH encourages family members to accompany the patient at all times. It was the perfect place for us to cherish every remaining moment with him.”

Improved Quality of Life

A firm believer that palliative care is the best option at the end of life, Serin hoped the public will become more aware of it. “Palliative care is about addressing the needs of not only the patient but also the family members. Thanks to the bereavement counselling support from clinical social workers and Buddhist disciples, my family was able to maintain a positive outlook even when faced with the inevitable loss of my dad.”

In a life full of first meetings and final partings, Serin was most reluctant to say goodbye to her father but felt comforted knowing that he departed with a smile as was his wish. She expressed her heartfelt gratitude to the generous donors of the “Hospice Subsidy Bed Scheme” for supporting her father in his final chapter of life, and for inspiring her to pass on this blessing to others in need.

Grandpa Wong had only one wish – to live out his days comfortably and be with his family.

 Serin was thankful that her father was able to complete his life’s journey without regret.

 Grandpa Wong lived a dignified life in a loving environment.

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This information was published with permission from The Society for the Promotion of Hospice Care.

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