Daughter 'taken aback by kind gesture' for dying mum by staff at Derry end-of-life charity

Jeanette Dunlop
-Credit: (Image: Dunlop family / Foyle Hospice)

A Derry woman has said she was "taken aback" by a "kind gesture" from staff at the end-of-life charity Foyle Hospice during her late mother's final days.

Terri Dunlop was speaking ahead of the annual Female Walk/Run on Sunday in aid of Foyle Hospice, where her mother Jeanette spent her last days.

Jeanette, an inpatient at Foyle Hospice until she sadly passed away at the age of 64 while holding her husband Terence's hand, was a school cleaner and child-minder in Derry before she became unwell.

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Terri will be walking in the Female Walk/Run in memory of her mother, alongside her daughter, sisters and friends and thousands of other Derry women on Sunday, June 9

On 22nd December last year, Jeanette was admitted to the Inpatient Ward at Foyle Hospice to receive respite.

Terri said: “Mum was very sick and we knew she didn’t have much time left so we wanted to do more for her to keep her dignity and that’s why we chose Foyle Hospice.

“Everybody was mad about her. She was so maternal and had such a great way with children. She had such a great personality and was the best mother to us all.”

Terri went on to praise the treatment her mother and her family received saying: “The staff at Foyle Hospice couldn’t have done enough – they offered us a wee apartment because we were spending our days and nights up there. They were just amazing and as a family we are so thankful for everything they helped us through.

“My mum celebrated her 64th birthday in the Inpatient Ward just three days before she died and the Hospice cook, Lisa, surprised us all with the most beautiful cake. It was exactly like the nightdress that she had on that day which had butterflies on it. We were so taken aback by this kind gesture.”

Explaining how relaxed her mother felt at Foyle Hospice which was a huge relief and peace of mind for Terri and her family, she said: “I don’t think mum ever realised how sick she was – well that’s how it seemed anyway because she was so relaxed in here. The nurses were just fantastic and if mum ever had any pain, they were straight on the ball. She was never hungry and her room was absolutely spotless – she was just so settled.”

Reflecting on her mother and father’s relationship, Terri continued: “My mum and dad were childhood sweethearts, they met when they were 14, they were actually next-door neighbours! They were married 46 years and have five girls including me.”

On 15th January, at the age of 64, Jeanette passed away at Foyle Hospice while holding her husband, Terence’s hand.

Terri recalled how wonderful the nurses were at the time of her mother’s death and the precious memories which she says she is very “grateful” to have.

She explained: “My mum was the type who didn’t want any fuss and Foyle Hospice made her wishes come true.

“As a family, we never thought it would happen to us, but losing my mum has made me realise how we take everything for granted in life.”

Terri concluded: “We never would have got through this without the Foyle Hospice – it was a home from home for us and the work they do is just amazing.”

If you would like to donate to Terri’s Female Walk/Run Fundraiser you can do so by clicking this link

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