My mother was my world – a letter of gratitude to Hospice Bangladesh

I lost my mother two years ago to cancer. When she was diagnosed with stage four cancer and doctors read the verdict that it is at terminal stage, the first question I asked to Professor Dr Kamruzzaman was: Is there any hospice care in Bangladesh. He comforted me by informing about Hospice Bangladesh.

Finding Hospice Bangladesh

I live abroad. I knew that all terminally ill patients need palliative care services to manage their emerging symptoms and feel comfort as much as possible.

Keeping my mother in ICU would be inhumane, I knew that. She would suffer more when numbers of artificial machines would be attached to her aching body.

I knew all my mother needed was pain and symptom management. Her body cannot and should not be in pain while she departed the world.

I did lots of readings and prepared myself to take care of my mother during her last stage of life. My mother had lived a glorious life, she deserved a good ending and should die with dignity.

I heard about Dr Shahinur Kabir and Hospice Bangladesh from Professor Dr Karuzzaman. After our long hours of discussion I found that Dr Kabir not only earned degrees and immense knowledge on palliative care, he has adopted the palliative care motto by heart.

The right to die with dignity

His belief is that all human beings have the right to die with dignity, meaning dying in as comfortable a state as possible. And that is what Dr Shahinur Kabir ensured for my mother.

Thank-you Hospice Bangladesh for taking great care of the most important person of my life during the last six months of her life. I will remain indebted to Dr Shahinur Kabir for managing all the complications that arose during the last four months of her life.

Besides pain, my mother also had delirium. Delirium is difficult to diagnose, and the management of it requires great skill. Dr Shahinur Kabir and his medical team did an extraordinary job in managing both.

My mother was my world, it was painful enough to see that she was taking steps towards death. If I had to witness all the pain, agony, and many more complications I would not be able to bear the mental torment.

I am amazed to see that the Hospice Bangladesh team not only focuses on medical symptoms but also provided emotional support to my mother and to the family. I and my father could go through each and every hour of those painful months because of the immense emotional support we have received from Dr Kabir and Dr Roopom; Medical Social Worker, Farzana, and the nurses.

The dedicated service of the nurses Shikha, Mona, Pinky, and Ruma are unforgettable. They went above and beyond to ensure the comfort that my mother needed then.

My mother felt that she is being loved by all. The nurses constantly treated her well, taken care of her, and talked to her. Thank you for giving my mother the dignity she deserved as human being.

The best gift

I have lost my mother, but I have one satisfaction in mind. During her last stage we did not have to torture her by taking her to hospital back and forth. We did not have to impose machines on her body that was already aching in pain.

Rather, she received all the care and treatment at the comfort of her own home, where the palliative care team managed her pain and other symptoms. Death is a fearful, complex, and painful journey. Palliative care makes it less painful. The rest depends on God. But there is no point of adding more pain to it.

Dear readers, please do not let your near and dear one die without hospice/palliative care. Once you hear that the disease is incurable, turn to palliative care as soon as possible. By doing that you are giving the best gift to your beloved ones who are terminally ill.

Even after they leave the world, you will miss them but you will never regret that you have not done enough. We do not have control over death but we have control over making it comfortable. By providing palliative care to your beloved one you prove your love for him or her.