Under their loving care and with the assistance of a multi-disciplinary team of doctors, sisters, caregivers, social workers and counsellors, 850 of these patients died a dignified and in most cases, symptom-free death.
However, there is also another side to Stepping Stone Hospice, the one where a patient is admitted, cared for and then given the green light to return home to family and friends. Such is the case of Lydia Lerata, who after four months of care in the In-Patient Unit, returned home and to her work that she so enjoyed.
The 39-year-old mother of two young daughters was transferred to the unit in December 2015, after a lengthy stay in hospital. Diagnosed with cervical cancer in October 2014, Lydia underwent chemotherapy and radiation to send the cancer into remission, but has endured complication after complication and been treated for various debilitating infections.
Stepping Stone Hospice has truly become a pillar of strength in their community and demand for their services has led to them having to start with plans to extend the In-Patient Unit with another 12 rooms. The extension will include an adolescent section.
Their “Help Us Build, Brick by Brick” project was launched at the end of June 2016, a project to raise funds for their planned extension. The goal was to raise R3.5 million, and through various fundraising projects and the generous support of the community, R2.6 million has already been raised.