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Precious Gems 58 - Gems in our midst
01 March 2021

When our beneficiaries write to us, their letters and cards are always read to the HCA staff during our Townhall meetings. The following is an excerpt of a very beautifully written letter, from the son of one of our patients.

Henry* had received a survey form on the experience of care provided by HCA. He felt that the section given in the survey form, to describe the level of service was too small for him to detail out our “remarkable service”. Hence he decided to write a letter to us.

Henry’s mum suffered from Follicular Lymphoma, a cancer that is usually incurable. It affects white blood cells, which help our bodies fight infections. The sick blood cells travel to many parts of the body, such as organs, bone marrow and lymph nodes and form tumours in these places.

After being referred to us, Henry was initially sceptical, but he quickly changed his mind and told us that “the service rendered from Day 1 has been nothing but exceptional”. Despite being transferred between satellites, as Henry’s mum moved to live with her daughter for additional care, he said that our service standards were sustained. He felt that our staff had “gone beyond their greatest distance during the trying time of my sister and me – as caregivers dealing with our mother’s remaining days battling with the terminal illness”.

Despite only one visit, our first nurse “displayed an immense level of compassion and professionalism in explaining HCA Hospice Care’s services”. Over a short period of time and with subsequent visits by the primary nurse and doctor, close bonds were fostered with both mum and Henry. Mum especially looked forward to our nurse’s visits. Henry’s words for our nurse – “she exhibits qualities that are not only professional but humanitarian as she attended to my mum with the fullest care, concern and most importantly, love. My mother dotes on her. Even when she no longer attends to my mother’s case, my mother often asked for her as she said to me, that the HCA nurse, is one of the best nurses that has attended to her throughout her time spent in hospitals”.

Henry was also not short of praise for our doctor. “He is a quiet force of nature, but his presence has always given us the greatest assurance. He has the immense capacity of knowledge to explain to me, my mother’s condition and the symptoms to be expected when her illness deteriorates over time”. Henry was scheduled for reservist in early 2021. Our doctor wrote a letter of deferment and advised him to spend more time with his mum. The two weeks “were a gift of time, thanks to the letter”.  

When Henry’s mum’s condition deteriorated, she became immobile and needed additional caregiving. The family decided to move mum to her daughter’s home and hence her case was transferred to another satellite. A new team took over and “they too have shown exemplary care and concern. They were quick in their response during doubtful situations that needed professional medical advice, in managing her pain and other ailments. The team has been the greatest source of reference and support, especially during the last few weeks before mum passed on”.

Henry has always had bad experiences with Social Workers in general, till he met ours. Henry has this to say – “she has been nothing but an extremely rare gem. She is determined to offer the best assistance and exhausts every outlet she can find, with one goal in mind and that is to ensure that my mother is offered every form of assistance that was available. Her innate ability to listen and offer sound advice made me enjoy her visits. She provided the greatest emotional support when I was dealing with my mother’s condition alone. She sat and took the time to listen and ensured that I had full control of my emotions before she leaves. Her assurance on matters which caregivers often wonder – particularly on the future aspect of coping with the loss of our loved ones, was reassuring. She has been the leading and strongest emotional support for my sister and me. She has become family – a sister whom we wish we had. I believe that if she were not assigned to us, I reckon I will not be able to stand on my two feet after the recent loss of my mother”.

Henry goes on to tell us that we “have been blessed with remarkable staff who not only went beyond the distance but have embodied compassion, kindness and the highest level of understanding of our situation. No words can further express my immense gratitude for everything that they had done. I hope your organisation continues to blossom and have more of such exemplary staff that would brighten the day of the patients and caregivers”.

Nothing beats receiving letters of compliments. This is such a heart-warming and well written letter. It speaks volumes for the dedication and commitment of our team members. Thank you teams, for setting such exemplary standards and more importantly, the consistent good work that our beneficiaries all appreciate. WELL DONE!











*not his real name //  "___" - extracted from Henry's letter