NZ Herald 26 February 2017
When Abigail Lameta entered the last months of her short life, her family knew nothing of the palliative care service at the Starship children’s hospital in Auckland.
The Henderson family soon learned that palliative care could help them through their darkest days, with invaluable advice and support to enable care at home.
Abi died in November, nine days before her ninth birthday. She had been diagnosed at 5½ with a rare and incurable brain tumour. She had chemotherapy and radiation therapy and last August, she was brought home to die.
Around this time, the family met Karyn Bycroft, a nurse practitioner who had helped establish the palliative care service at Starship in 1999.
The family was in regular contact with Starship and the home-care nurses of Waitakere Hospital’s palliative care service.
“For three months we had that contact,” said Abi’s grandmother and adopted mother, Lisa Lameta.
“It was only made possible by knowing there’s someone on the end of the phone if we were worried.”
“It meant we could keep Abi at home. She stabilised for quite a while and was really peaceful just being in her own environment. She was surrounded by family and it was easy for people to come and see her when they wanted to.
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