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Omagh family praises ‘brilliant’ palliative care team

THE daughter of an Omagh man who was supported by the local Palliative Care Team before he died has said she will be ‘forever grateful’ that her family was able to nurse their father at home.

Patrick (Paddy) Phillips of Harmony Heights in Omagh passed away at home surrounded by his family on May 28 this year after a battle with Parkinsons.

Paddy spent ten days in South West Acute Hospital before the palliative care team helped him move home where he was looked after for a week by the team and his family before he died.

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Paddy’s daughter, Amanda, said her family did not know that palliative care was available to them, but are so grateful for the ‘seamless’ service.

Speaking to the Ulster Herald, Amanda said, “I did not realise that palliative care was open to us because daddy was a Parkinsons patient.

“He went into hospital where, sadly, they found that he was losing his swallow. They tried to get it back, but couldn’t so it very quickly became end of life care for him. It was in the middle of the pandemic so we had not been allowed to visit daddy and hadn’t seen him for ten days.”

She continued, “We did not want daddy to stay in hospital for the end of his life so the ward made contact with the palliative care team and they talked us through having him nursed at home.

“They really took care of everything.”

Amanda admitted that, initially, her family were concerned about taking her father home because no-one had any medical training or experience.

However, she said the support they received was “phenomenal” and that the palliative care team handled everything to ensure Paddy was comfortable at home.

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Amanda continued, “We were worried about whether we would cope but we had so much support and Rapid Response was always available to us.

“The palliative care team prepared us for how things would look and how they would happen. The district nursing team in Omagh came every morning and were absolute gems from the minute they came through the door.

“Palliative nurse Martina McCann was brilliant – if we had a panic during the day, she was there to help us and we are very appreciative of that.

“I remember standing up on the day of daddy’s funeral saying I have no regrets now, but if we hadn’t got him home, I would have been filled with regrets.

“For us as a family, it was an absolute privilege to be able to nurse daddy for the last week of his life in the comfort of his own home, in his own bed with his own family around,” said Amanda.

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Ulster Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 10-14 John Street, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, N. Ireland, BT781DW