The moment Tara stepped foot into the Cornwall Hospice seven years ago, she knew it was going to be one of the most difficult yet memorable experiences of her life as she said goodbye to her daughter, Amber.
From birth, Amber spent much of her life in the hospital due to congenital conditions. Amber was a young girl with the biggest heart. Although she had a challenging life, the fourteen-year-old had the power to connect with everyone she met. Tara, Amber’s mom shared, “She was one of a kind. She had a smile that would light up the world.” Although Amber was non-verbal, she had her own way of communicating with people around her and made a lasting impression. Tara knew Amber’s time on this world would be short, so as a mother she did everything in her power to enjoy the most out of every day, and to keep her comfortable.
As Amber’s condition progressed, her family sought out support from Carefor Hospice. Tara said “Many people think of Hospice as just in the final days or hours. It’s not. My journey with Hospice began about two years before she passed, with many conversations with Dr. Randlett about Amber. They offered a lot of support and guidance through Amber’s palliative journey.” Tara found when she needed help, whether she had questions or needed a piece of equipment to keep Amber comfortable at home she could call the Hospice to find relief.
When the time came, Amber spent her final twenty-four hours in this world in the care of the Carefor Hospice. While staff tended to Amber, for those precious hours Tara found herself no longer being a caregiver but the mother of a young girl. Tara shared “Whenever your loved ones are sick or ill, you feel like you’re more of a caregiver than you are a spouse or a mom or what ever you may be to that person. What Hospice gave me in those last twenty-four hours was the ability to just be her mom. I can never repay them for that.”
In the years to come, Amber’s family wanted to share their gratitude for the Hospice. Amber’s Angels, a Hike for Hospice team honouring Amber’s memory was formed by friends and family near to Amber’s heart. Tara shared, “From hearing the bagpipes when we first set out to seeing to seeing all the amazing families that come together to raise funds and to provide support for our Hospice is truly an incredible moment.”
Amber and her mother are among hundreds of individuals felt the kind support of Hospice every year. You can help the Carefor Hospice in Cornwall by signing up for the Virtual Hike for Hospice, or by making a donation today.