Cora grew up in a small town in KZN, Dannhauser where she spend most of her childhood years until she reached grade 8. She then moved to George where she completed high school and later moved to Germiston where she completed her training in general nursing, midwifery and theatre training.
Cora’s career all started at the Tygerberg Hospital in Cape Town where she worked in the neonatal intensive care unit, completing her neonatal and paediatric training, spending 15 years at this unit.
Was Palliative Care something you knew about at the time?
Fortunately Palliative Care was something that was part of our training. We had a ward for Oncology and terminal ill patients. It wasn’t called Palliative Care at the time but “special care”. Patients would not share the same ward because you could not have a patient who has a terminal illness next to a patient who just came out of minor operation. It was during this period that I got to see what impact Palliative Care had on patients.” It was something that warmed my heart each time I applied that “special care” not only to the patient, but the family as well. “This is where my passion for Palliative Care all started” she said.
How did you find @Peace Care Centre?
They found me! After resigning from the old age home I thought I would have the luxury of enjoying some time off after spending over 35 years in my career. Sister Crouch, who was the sister @ Peace Care at the time resigned and I was asked to help them out for a few weeks – to date those few weeks has turned into months and it doesn’t seem as if I will be going anywhere soon.
How does patients get referred to @ Peace Care Centre IPU?
@ Peace Care Centre we don’t only focus on patients with life threatening illnesses but other conditions as well. We are the step down facility for the provincial hospital where they have the first choice to refer their patients who suffers from strokes, heart failures, hip replacements, paraplegics or whatever there is to send. We have a good relationship and it also allows us to educate more people in the hospital setting about Palliative Care.
What do you enjoy doing outside work?
It is sometimes very difficult to break away from the reality of patients who are ill and suffering but one needs to find a good balance to separate those feelings and focus on your own well-being and family too. I enjoy cooking, needle work and knitting quilts.
Find out more about @Peace Care Centre here.