Family of UHDB colleague who passed away thank staff for exceptional care with mural tribute
The family of a UHDB colleague who passed away on Florence Nightingale Community Hospital's End of Life ward have visited the ward to see a poignant garden mural they helped fundraise for.
Ann Moran, secretary within Specialist Medicine at UHDB, sadly passed away two years ago. Her husband Phil and their son Stephen met with Ward 2 staff to thank them for the care they provided to Ann in her final weeks.
Ann was diagnosed with liver cirrhosis as a result of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and was cared for on the ward before she passed away in July 2021. Her family say she "loved the hospital" after joining the Trust in 2004, and they were grateful for the wonderful care she was given on Ward 2, after requesting to spend her final weeks there.
Her son Stephen said: "Mum's parting wish was to support the unit who cared for her tremendously in her final days, hours and minutes and when we found out about the mural and were invited to have something on there to remember mum by it felt like the perfect tribute."
The family donated after fundraising alongside the team on Ward 2.
Clare Hicklin, Sister on the ward, said the team received incredible support from colleagues and senior leaders at the Trust to help fundraise for the mural, and were blown away by the donation from Phil and Stephen in Ann's honour.
Clare said: "Ward 2 opened on 6 January 2020 and we recognised early on how lucky we were to have a garden and such a lovely open space. It became apparent how much patients and their families appreciated this and the joy and quality it brought to them by being able to spend time in the fresh air and outside space.
"We felt having a mural would continue to create a brightness to the garden and allow the patients to look at a nice picture when taken outside in their bed."
The team fundraised by taking part in a virtual bike ride of 985 miles from Lands End to John O Groats and were supported by families such as Phil and Stephen who donated a sum to change the ambience of the garden. The artwork was created by artist Adam Matkin and Clare said it was beautiful to watch.
She said: "The staff felt very proud of what they had achieved especially because the mural is personal to the staff, featuring animals that have meaning to them."
Ann retired from UHDB in April 2017 before returning to work 14 months later to re-join the medicine divisional management administration team at Royal Derby Hospital.
She fell ill in November 2020 and was later diagnosed with liver cirrhosis. and in her final weeks Ann requested to be moved to Florence Nightingale Community Hospital, where she could receive end of life care.
Stephen said: "The hospital was a huge part of her life. She loved the NHS and its people, so when she got poorly we knew she would be in safe hands. The care mum got on Ward 2 was brilliant and it was peace of mind for us. The staff were absolutely magnificent and me and dad both agree that we couldn’t think of a better place to spend our last moments."
During that difficult time Phil and Stephen agreed that one the biggest comforts they found from their time on the ward was the ward's very own garden.
Phil said: "We used to sit out there just to gather our thoughts and it is so lovely and calming. It is impossible to sleep when someone you love is dying, but just being able to sit out there and have a break was so valuable."
While Ann was being cared for on the ward, her loved ones were told about a planned mural for the garden and offered the chance to have a piece of art on there in honour of Ann.
Stephen said: "We chose to have a badger and a Red Admiral butterfly. On the day mum died there was a Red Admiral butterfly in the garden and in the weeks after one kept appearing. I didn’t realise until months later when I was looking at photos that there was a Red Admiral butterfly on mum's door behind her."
Talking about Ann, Stephen said his mum was an avid Derby County fan and season ticket holder, and was the glue that held their family together: "Mum was so well liked by friends and family and she was always helping someone. She did a lot for charities and was a beaver leader for years. She was just the best mum and allowing her to spend her final weeks here where she was comfortable was the best thing we could have done for her."