THE Hospice Angels were part of the large team who helped to care for Edna Haynes in her High Bentham home.

Diagnosed with breast cancer for a second time in June this year, Edna's condition deteriorated rapidly when it spread to her liver.

Her husband, Maurice, was able to provide care for his 'gentle and gracious' wife with the help of the Hospice at Home nurses.

"I found that the care of the whole palliative care team in this area was absolutely excellent," he said. "It included a Macmillan nurse who seemed to organise everything perfectly for me, together with the St John's Hospice, the district nurses and a local care company - they were just exceptionally good."

As well as the emotional support that the nurses provided for both Maurice and Edna, the Hospice at Home nurses were able to spruce Edna up when they came to visit.

"One thing that was really important for my wife was that they were able to wash her hair without needing to get her to the sink," Maurice said, later adding that Edna had been a sharp dresser and he had donated her stylish wardrobe to St John's Hospice. "That was important to her because she liked to look neat and tidy all the time."

Both Maurice and Edna were methodists, having met at a youth fellowship in 1962. Maurice described his late wife, who passed away on August 26 this year, as a superb needleworker and a 'wonderful Christian woman'.

"She always smiled at the carers even though they were having to do difficult things," he said. "She was a gracious woman. She was extremely calm throughout the whole thing. Knowing that she was terminally ill, nevertheless she never fretted. She was just calm and very grateful."

Thanks to the fantastic co-ordination of all the care professionals involved at the end of Edna's life, Maurice was able to ensure that his family-orientated wife was able to stay at home where she wanted to be.

"It was just a great example of team effort with not any particular group having to take all the burden, which I think was very important," Maurice said. "They were just very gentle, very gracious, very loving people who are obviously dedicated to their calling in life."

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