Datchworth family fundraise to enable World War II nurse to have dignified death

Daisy O’Sullivan in Lister Hospital. Picture: Supplied.

Daisy O’Sullivan in Lister Hospital. Picture: Supplied.


A Datchworth family are desperately trying to raise £20,000 to give their mum a dignified death at home.

Daisy O’Sullivan in hospital on oxygen. Picture: Supplied.Daisy O’Sullivan in hospital on oxygen. Picture: Supplied.

Daisy O’Sullivan, 90, was admitted to Lister Hospital around five weeks ago after her family became concerned that she was dramatically losing weight.

Doctors discovered she had necrosis of the bowel but Daisy, who has dementia, is inoperable due to being extremely frail.

The great grandmother, who is living her final days and needs palliative care 24/7, will only be able to receive four care visits a day if she is sent home under the NHS East and North Hertfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group’s watch.

Her daughter Frances Noble, 60, said: “Presumably she’s supposed to quietly die on her own in between visits and at night.”

Daisy O’Sullivan in hospital. Picture: Supplied.Daisy O’Sullivan in hospital. Picture: Supplied.

The family are trying to raise £20,000 so Daisy, who worked as an auxiliary nurse during World War II, can be cared for and die in her bungalow in Datchworth, where she’s always lived.

Frances said: “We want her in a safe enviroment, not one where she’ll be lying in faeces and urine for possibly hours during the night, unable to access drinks.

“The nurses [at Lister] have been lovely and kind but they are so understaffed and struggling.”

She added: “They are the forgotten generation and all over the country they are left to die without a choice of being able to die in dignity at home.

Frances Noble with her mother, in the early 80's. Picture:Supplied.Frances Noble with her mother, in the early 80's. Picture:Supplied.

“They fought wars and now they’re expected to die like this. “It’s a disgrace.”

An East and North Herts NHS spokeswoman said: “Staffing levels at the Trust are monitored daily to ensure they are appropriate for the needs of our patients.”

A spokeswoman for the NHS CCG said: “While we don’t have Mrs O’Sullivan’s permission to discuss her individual case, we can explain what happens to ensure that patients who are very sick or dying can go home from hospital, or to a nursing home.

“When a clinical decision is made that a patient is nearing the end of their life and would benefit from being cared for at home or in a care home, a specialist nurse works with the patient, looking at their individual needs, wishes and circumstances.

Daisy O’Sullivan during the war when she was an auxiliary nurse at Hertford County Hospital. Picture:Supplied.Daisy O’Sullivan during the war when she was an auxiliary nurse at Hertford County Hospital. Picture:Supplied.

“A care plan details the support they need, which in these cases is paid for by the NHS.

“The care plan is then reviewed regularly, to ensure that it meets the needs of the person involved, and is adapted if their needs change and they need more care.”

To donate visit https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/frances-noble

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