"Wonderful care of my late husband"

About: Austin Hospital Box Hill Hospital / Intensive Care Unit Maroondah Hospital

(as a relative),

I would like to share my experience of the public hospital system in Australia and the care they provided for my late husband.

My husband was diagnosed with renal failure about 10 years ago, at Box Hill Hospital. This was not something that we were prepared for, and not something that we were expecting. Initially after the diagnosis, he was attending The Austin for his dialysis. The staff here were great and really helpful in the beginning of this difficult journey. Ultimately though, the hospital was too far for us to travel, and we transferred to Maroondah Hospital about 5 years ago for the ongoing treatment.

I cannot be more explicit with my gratitude to all the staff at Maroondah – particularly the nurses. They became like a family to my husband, and he loved them dearly. He had a rapport with all of them, and I cannot stress how much easier they made everything.

A few months ago however, we were met with the difficult time of the end of my husband’s life. During his final week my husband was in the ICU at Box Hill Hospital. We have quite a large family, and naturally they all wanted to be around him during this time. As a native New Zealander, it is part of our culture that we spend times like these together, surrounded by our extended family. Never did I expect that we would be afforded this opportunity in Australia, but all the staff were so caring. One nurse in particular – who I unfortunately do not remember the name of – went above and beyond for our family. They opened up the free room next to my husband’s room so that our entire family could meet. They brought us extra chairs and plates with biscuits and made us as comfortable as possible. They allowed us to bring in our dinner so that we did not have to leave my husband’s side.

I have the greatest amount of gratitude for all of those involved in my husband’s care. They made a really difficult time a little bit easier, and for that I will be forever grateful. Thank you so much.

Responses

Response from Jo Gatehouse, Director, Quality, Planning and Innovation (Acute Health and Consumer Participation and Patient Experience), Eastern Health

picture of Jo Gatehouse

Dear Wonderful Care

I’m very sorry to read about the loss of your husband. I understand that losing a significant loved one is a highly emotional experience for families, so I hope you are all doing as well as can be expected given the circumstances.

I would sincerely like to thank you for taking the time to share your story on Patient Opinion. I’m so pleased to read about the care and support you, your family and most importantly your husband experienced during his time at Maroondah and Box Hill Hospitals. It is lovely to know that your family felt well cared for and supported throughout this time of immense sadness and that our wonderful staff were able to meet your family and cultural needs. The rapport that developed between yourselves and the staff involved in your husband’s care and the impact the staff have had on you is truly heart-warming.

It will give me great pleasure to share your lovely thanks and feedback to those involved in your husband’s care at both Maroondah Hospital and Box Hill Hospital.

Once again many thanks for sharing your story.

Wishing you and your family all the very best.

Jo Gatehouse.

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