I was honoured by a request from the Hospice Foundation’s coordinator to share my experience regarding the Hospice Home Nursing.
My husband, András Horváth, passed away in April 2016 after battling with cancer for almost eight years. From the point when the illness was diagnosed the doctor treating my husband, Dr Judit Tóth, did all she could to stabilise his condition and provide him with the very latest treatments. I still remember Doctor Tóth with gratitude because her perseverance and the efforts she made for patients gave them hope and helped my husband to bear his illness with dignity and to see everything in a positive light. My husband gave several talks at the patient’s club of the Debrecen Oncology Clinic during which the audience of medical practitioners were appraised of the emotions and problems that can arise with cancer and how a doctor’s approach can help a great deal.
I would also like to make special mention of the work of a psychiatrist, Dr Mónika Mailáth, who on the basis of a conversation lasting just a few minutes was able to assess when my husband would need help.
During his continual struggle to be cured – when over a period of five months there was no opportunity for any kind of therapy – my husband’s condition became increasingly worse. On 24 February 2016 my husband’s attending physician informed me personally that unfortunately it could not go on. It was she who recommended that I contact the Hungarian Hospice Foundation and ask for their help. During this period it was already very difficult for my husband to move out of the house but he needed to receive a steroid infusion every two days. The Hungarian Hospice Foundation organised home care in a very short space of time and following this, from the beginning of March 2016, they came to our house on a regular basis every two days. The hospice workers were very inventive; for example, showing me how to improvise an infusion “stand” in our home from a rack and a coat hanger. They did all they could to accommodate my husband’s needs and assisted in giving my husband his pain killer through a drip. They always came exactly on time and became part of our lives almost like family members. We talked a lot and their calm approach and composure gave my husband hope. Sometimes we even forgot about what kind of situation we were in and were able to have a laugh. Their advice was also of help to me – since I have no qualifications in healthcare – in how to take care and look after my husband.
In this final period I nursed my husband at home until the end. The presence of staff from the Hospice Foundation in our home was fixed and we could always rely on them to be there. I am so very grateful that they stood by us during this difficult time. I got to know them as people and I will always respect them a great deal.
I think it cannot be easy to have to come face to face every day with the passing away of life and accept that there is nothing you can do to turn this process around. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their work and to wish them health and perseverance in continuing with their heroic efforts. – Mária Horváthné Barna