Amy's Story

"Anytime we went in, the staff were remarkable, mum described them as angels"

Mum-of-four, Carole Adair, (64) died in January this year after a short battle with kidney cancer.

Amy, Carole's daughter, says she has "no words" fitting enough to describe the fantastic care her mum received in the hospice.

"Mum was an extremely fit, healthy woman, always out walking, then out of the blue she got a twinge in her back, she thought it was muscle pain, and even went to the doctors who thought it was just muscles.

"But it got worse, she knew something wasn't right so she went for a MRI and got the news that she had a tumour on her spine that had already spread from her kidney.

The 32-year-old from Jordanstown said her mum's deterioration was very sudden.

"From there it just got progressively worse, and she had to get spinal surgery which was horrific.

"She actually recovered pretty well from that, she was able to stand up and walk, but she got a horrible infection and she deteriorated very rapidly. The doctors were in shock at how fast the tumour had spread within two weeks, it basically went everywhere.

Amy said when her mum was told her prognosis was terminal there was only one place she wanted to spend her final weeks  and that was Northern Ireland Hospice.

"My grandad had kidney cancer so mum would have been in and out of the hospice with him. She always said they were fantastic.

Amy continued: "From the moment we stepped through the door the support was there for all of us. Anytime we went in, the staff were remarkable, mum described them as angels. It's such a difficult job I don't know how they do it but they're incredible.

"Even with my baby daughter, I couldn't bring her into the hospital with me but when mum was in the hospice I would have arrived and staff would have taken her off me and looked after her and changed her nappy so I could spend some quality time with mum, just wee things like that helped a lot."