Caty Hollis – A Marie Curie Nurse’s Story

I am a Registered Nurse and have been working at the Marie Curie Bradford Hospice on the In Patient Unit for 18 years. I decided to become a Palliative Care Nurse after working on a Vascular ward where I felt particularly drawn to caring for the patients coming to the end of their lives. When my dad died, and I was involved in caring for him, ensuring he was as comfortable as possible and making his and our family’s experience as good as possible, it confirmed my desire to work in Palliative Care.

I love working at Marie Curie. I am part of an amazing team on the In Patient Unit. It is often thought that hospices are sad and depressing places, but I am proud to say that when people come to spend time at the hospice, either as a patient or visitor, they are often very pleasantly surprised by the atmosphere and the surroundings. We are about making the most of the time that our patients and their loved ones have left. Marie Curie is just one Palliative Care provider but we are a very special one. We have gone the extra mile on a number of occasions: we have facilitated a number of special occasions at the hospice, including weddings and christenings; birthday parties for patients (or indeed younger children of patients) are also celebrated in style; we encourage patients to have their pets brought to them, as we know how much joy and comfort this can bring; we have our own Pets As Therapy (PAT) dogs and we even have a PAT cat called Carrots, who is blind and lives at a local rescue. Carrots is an absolute favourite with patients and staff alike; a young man who died recently, owned a Chinchilla, and he was fretting about what would happen to his beloved pet. One of the staff took over the care of the animal and the young man was able to have his mind at peace; a young mum had always wanted to take her children to the beach, but when it became clear that this would not happen due to her deteriorating health, we brought the beach to her (& her children) – sandpit, buckets, spades, candy floss and ice cream. It was a magical afternoon; we regularly take our patients out into our beautiful garden on their beds to enjoy the fresh air and some sunshine (when we’re lucky); there are so many special things we do. Our Ward Clerk, Lesley, is especially skilled at organising these things – she goes above and beyond. Our Maintenance man, Martin, is always available to help out too.

We are desperately in need of financial support, especially due to the effects of Covid on fundraising capabilities. Marie Curie has lost 2 years of Daffodil appeal (on street) fundraising. Many methods of fundraising are based on friends and communities spending time together and due to lockdown and isolation, these have all fallen by the wayside. Please support us in our attempts to continue to provide this essential service to patients and loved ones suffering with life-limiting illness. Thank you.

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