Hervey Bay's Shannon Parsgaard with her mum Sally Magann, 66, who died after pancreatic cancer was discovered.
Hervey Bay's Shannon Parsgaard with her mum Sally Magann, 66, who died after pancreatic cancer was discovered.

Family praises work of Hervey Bay's palliative care nurses

SALLY Magann was an old-school mum with a quick wit.

She sent her kids off to school in neat uniforms with shiny shoes and made sure they came home every afternoon to freshly baked treats.

Her five kids adored her and also had a close relationship with their dad, Brian, to whom Sally had been married for 47 years.

Earlier this year Sally had to undergo surgery at Tamworth Hospital to fix a twisted bowel.

But when she started feeling ill again a few weeks later her daughter, Shannon Parsgaard, suggested Sally stay with her in Hervey Bay.

Brian was working away and Shannon wanted to make sure her Mum would be taken care of while she wasn't feeling well.

With the help of her doctor, Sandirasegaram Abraham from Hervey Bay's Hope Family Practice, Shannon organised tests to find out what was causing her mother's illness.

A mass was discovered and a biopsy was carried out.

But before the results were returned, Sally was rushed to Hervey Bay Hospital with jaundice and then flown to Brisbane where doctors made a tragic diagnosis. Sally was told she had pancreatic cancer and had only weeks to live.

Sally had already beaten cervical cancer more than 10 years before but was told it had nothing to do with that diagnosis.

She was offered chemotherapy and told it would extend her life, but she decided to go home to her daughter Shannon's home instead.

From the time she came home, Sally lived just over two weeks.

She died on September 27, aged 66.

But in the two weeks that she lived, her eyes and the eyes of her family were opened to the special role of palliative care nurses from both the local health system and Blue Care who did everything in their power to make Sally's final days as easy as possible for her and her family.

The nurses did everything from organise pain medication to providing various items to help keep Sally clean and comfortable.

When Sally asked to talk to a pastor, the nurses even made that possible.

Shannon said she couldn't thank the people who had been involved in her mother's care enough for what they had done.

"If this has got to happen to your mother, this is the way you would want it to happen.

"They treated my mother like she was their mother."



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