Harrogate resident’s poignant tribute to her friend and local palliative care
Harrogate resident Anne Boland organised a poignant tribute to her best friend and ‘’soul-mate’’ Dora Storey who was cared for by our HOME Service team before her death from cancer earlier this month.
As Dora left her home for her final journey, Anne invited the residents of Poplar Crescent to come and clap in tribute to Dora and for the end of life care teams who provided ‘’thoughtful and sensitive seamless care”.
Anne and Dora both worked in end of life care and Dora was matron of two hospices – St Barnabas and Ayrshire Hospice – over a 25 year hospice career and was a passionate advocate of hospice care.
Anne said: “Dora was a great follower of Cicely Saunders – the woman acknowledged as being at the forefront of the hospice care movement. When I first met Dora, I was applying for a job and when I saw her – the matron – pushing a commode, I knew I wanted to work with her! She led by example.
“She was warm, caring but firm, loved life and had a wicked sense of humour. During her working life she lived and breathed for the patients she cared for and their families. She must have touched hundreds of lives in her career.
Anne said: “Dora knew how ill she was and wanted to die at home – she got her wish and for the last weeks of her life received the most wonderful care .
“We both felt the Saint Michael’s HOME care service was thoughtful, responsive and that the level of communication between services was extraordinary. It was such a relief for me too, to be able to spend those precious couple of weeks together, as Dora’s friend, not her carer.
“When the Saint Michael’s team first met Dora and found out about her work, one of the girls told her: “I consider it an honour to look after you.”
“They were just wonderful. When she died, the girls took great care of her, washing and dressing her – she looked beautiful. It was so peaceful. They played her favourite music and lit candles.”
“I invited the street to come and applaud as I wanted to be able to honour Dora’s life and at the same time, draw attention to the wonderful teams who work in local palliative care.
“We were bowled over by the level of care we received and want to show the community how fortunate we are in Harrogate to have such very special care at the end of life.”
Residents and neighbours lined the street to applaud, as the funeral cortege appeared and HOME service Health Care Assistant Tracey Plews who had come to pay her respects said she was extremely proud to work for the team and would remember Dora and Anne with fondness.