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“How beautiful the last days of somebody’s life can be”
After tearfully saying farewell to her beloved 12-year-old nephew, Luke, Fiona Mulchrone found her calling.
Some of the participants of the 2018 IHF Cycle travelling through the Slovenian countryside Paul Kimmage
Having sat by little Luke’s bedside as he died, Fiona became inspired to become a Nurse for Night Care, as her family availed of night nursing in his final days.
“I’ll always remember how grateful we were that we had the night service available to us,” Fiona recalls. “It was then that I decided I wanted to work in night nursing. I wanted to help other families.”
As part of the IHF’s Nurses for Night Care service, Fiona works at night in the homes of people dying from non-cancer illnesses; making patients as comfortable as possible and providing much needed support and rest for family.
“The Nurse for Night Care has an influence over the whole ambiance and atmosphere. You’re trying to make the last couple of days as memorable and as easy for everybody as you can.
“It’s a privilege to be there with somebody who is dying, and it’s lovely to be with their family at this time. They’re so thankful. They’re looking at you like you’re their angel. You’re their rock really.”
Fiona provides crucial emotional support to the person who is dying, and has many heartfelt conversations with patients about their feelings and wishes.
“I once treated a man who had no family. He had a small dog that was his life. He told me all about his dog and how much love he had for him. He told me that he wanted to die at home with him by his side. He died the life he lived.”
While the death of a loved one is devastating for family members, Fiona believes that when somebody is able to die in their own home, it can bring about many positive emotions and memories too.
“The last couple of days you hear so many stories, good laughs, and you see so much love. The power of love is overwhelming.
“It’s incredible how beautiful the last few days of somebody’s life can be.”