Palace of Care – Late referrals to palliative care are still common

Photo by Aron Visuals on Unsplash

We had only received the referral the day before. Our nurse went out to see the patient and found him to be likely dying, suffering from pain and great distress. His wife who had been a registered nurse for almost 30 years was still talking about taking him into hospital for further treatments. They were persuaded to come into the hospice by ambulance.

The junior staff had seen him and asked for me to see the family as well, as they just couldn’t get the point across. They thought that he was actively dying, but his wife and daughter were still talking about going into hospital for active treatments, whatever was available.

I walked carefully into the tension of the room and noticed that the patient was breathing heavily, was not able to respond, but otherwise looked comfortable. His daughter was breathing heavily, unable to respond because she was crying, and looked uncomfortable. His wife was breathing quickly, responded slowly to questions, and her discomfort showed on her face.

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*Updated* 13/05/16 – Palace of Care/I think therefore I am?: #pallanz Mercy mission #getjnrbak

 

 

Hi everyone,

Situation:  

Poppa is my patient. Grandson “Junior” in Sydney unable to fly back to Auckland because of eye injury. Tearful conversation via internet this morning. Two men heartbroken at the thought that they will never be able to hug each other again.

Background:

Poppa very unwell and worsening rapidly, admitted this morning for hospice care.

Family have tried Cruise lines, Courier companies, travel agents to no avail so far.

Assessment:

Re-uniting Poppa with Junior would provide the greatest comfort.

Recommendation:

Spread the word through all available palliative care networks to see if we can #getjnrbak!

It might have to be via sea because of Junior’s eye injury.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Let’s see if we can provide another example of a real world translation from our Palliative Care virtual community of practice.

Cheers,

James


UPDATE 11/05/16 1700 NZT:

Junior’s medical details were obtained with his permission.

Sean Coleman from Air Ambulance NZ has been very helpful, again – Shipping companies contacted – minimum of 4 day trip by ship.

Freighter Travel company contacted.

Suggestions:  Make-a-Wish foundation could be approached?

Anyone know any super-rich people with a spare super-yacht?


UPDATE 12/05/16 1100 NZT:

Cruise ship company contacted.

No commercial flight options available. Low cabin pressure private jet would cost at least $30000+ one way.

The search continues, people have been leaving suggestions in the comments section, thanks.


UPDATE 12/05/16 1700 NZT:

I made contact with P&O Cruises and they did not have anything available this year.

Junior’s family are also exploring freighter ship options apparently there is a Brisbane to Auckland ship sailing next week. Hamish from Freighter Travel also told me about the same possibility, he was very helpful.

Poppa remains very unwell.

Fingers crossed.


UPDATE 13/05/16 1400 NZT:

No news on the travel front, but Poppa woke up and was comfortable today!

Fingers double crossed that its the start of a trend.