My husband, Clint, and I were married in 1990, and we had two children, Brittney and Jeremy. Our family has lived in Tsawwassen for 20 years and always felt so blessed to be part of the Delta community, but even more so now because of the support we received when a sudden health crisis struck.
When Clint became ill, we went through months seeking a diagnosis. Treatments were not helping, and Clint’s condition worsened with unrelenting fevers, pain and breathing issues. Eventually, he was spending the majority of his time in the hospital.
A diagnosis of terminal cancer was confirmed, and the prognosis was devastating for all of us. Clint endured for as long as he could, but once he understood there was no possibility of any improvement in his quality of life, he made the choice to have medical assistance in dying. All I wanted was to find a way to help him. It was unimaginably hard to accept the prognosis and to understand there was no treatment that could give us more time to come to terms with what was happening.
I wanted to get my husband admitted to Delta Hospice so we could access the help and support we needed in the time we had left. We knew about the Hospice, because Clint had worked on the gardens and thought it would be the place that would allow him to be made as comfortable as possible in his last days.
However, the one thing my husband could control, in this otherwise out-of-control situation, was not permitted at Delta Hospice. Instead, the Delta Hospital tried to provide privacy for our family in our last few precious days together, so Clint could access his right to medical assistance in dying. We will always be appreciative of their efforts, but a hospital is so very different from a hospice’s home-like setting and specialized care that is designed to provide some peace and comfort to patients, families and loved ones.
Making matters worse, I haven’t felt comfortable accessing the grief and bereavement counselling services provided in the Supportive Care Centre, because the Board of the Society didn’t accept Clint’s choice for his own medical care.
I have learned that none of us can know when our whole world will change, and I am determined to speak out, because I don’t want this traumatic experience to happen to other families when they face end-of-life care decisions. Our community worked together to build the Delta Hospice, and we need to come together again to ensure everyone feels accepted by a hospice that should provide care that patients choose for themselves.
If this is to happen, your help is needed! Please become a member of the Delta Hospice Society. Your vote and your voice will make a difference.