Receiving help from Mary Potter Hospice was the last thing that Mareta wanted. “A few days after I came out of the hospital I had a call from the Hospice. When I heard ‘hospice’ I thought I didn’t have long to live. I was pretty shocked. Then I met them and they told me the things that they are there for and what they can do for me.”
Mareta, who is from the Cook Islands, has a large family, with 17 grandchildren. When she dies, she wants to be at home, surrounded with her children, siblings and grandchildren. “I want my family to come in and out. I want to be surrounded with all the people who are important to me and I’ve told the Hospice that.”
Mareta spent a few days at the Hospice Inpatient Unit in Newtown to have a rest and get her pain under control. “The thing I loved the most was that they didn’t treat you like a sick person, they treated you like a normal person. When you’re sick, you don’t want sympathy, you just want to live your life to the fullest. You want to be treated as an equal, as a human being.”
Spending time at the Inpatient Unit helped Mareta to put on some weight and get back on her feet again. “How do I start to describe what the Hospice has done for me? There aren’t words. Everyone there is always smiling. They are friendly. And the food. Wow. They would go out of their way to make you the food you want.”
“The Hospice treated me like a living person, not a dying person. I rested so well in the Hospice. From the cleaners to the doctors, they are amazing people.” The hydro bath is often a big hit with patients, but to Mareta it looked a bit scary. “But in the end I had a bath. I was in there for half an hour, the jets were like a massage. I was in heaven. I kept saying, just five more minutes!”
Mareta also had her biography written by a volunteer biographer. “It was hard sometimes telling my story. And then when I read it, I decided that I didn’t wants anyone else to see it. You can’t turn back time, and sometimes you need to leave things back there where they belong.”
Mareta has received support from Mary Potter Hospice’s Pasifika Liaison, Hospice Social Workers have helped with suitable accommodation and support, an Occupational Therapist has helped with equipment and activities, and she receives regular visits from nurses and doctors.
“They’ve helped and supported me and put my mind at ease. When the team visit, I’m smiling all day. I’m blessed that I’ve met them.”
Become a part of our future
Mary Potter Hospice is a local charity and relies on your support. Each year we need to raise around $7 million to keep our services free. Whether you’re donating in memory of a loved one, in appreciation of hospice care, or simply because you believe in the work we do – thank you. It’s people like you that make our work possible.