It is with a heavy heart that I have to inform you all that Sylvia Veronica Snape, aged 95 years, passed away, peacefully on Tuesday 7th November. RIP. We will celebrate her life and she will be laid to rest with her father and her brother on Tuesday 21st November. Service 10am at St Mary's Church in Chorley. All welcome.
James, her son, had been caring for Sylvia at home with support from Lancashire County Social Care Services and the District nurses. Whilst Jim was grateful for this support he was still extremely frustrated that they still refused to let him take any part in the treatment of her arm.
Between the two of us we had managed to get her eating again and she was slowly putting on weight but caring for her was taking a heavy toll on Jim's physical and mental well-being and the Social Worker had suggested that Sylvia be placed in respite care, temporarily, to give him time to recuperate. It was a difficult decision for him to make as he had always promised her that he would never put her into a nursing home, but he eventually agreed that it would be for the best and arrangements were made for her to go into a home for a period of one month.(Read Part 4 here)
She went into the nursing home on Monday 23rd October. During the first week, despite being very weak and totally dependent, she was eating well and everything seemed to be going to plan. At the beginning of the second week the home's doctor telephoned to discuss her medication and suggested that she was in a lot of pain and that he was considering increasing the dosage of the pain medication patches from 10mg to 12mg. We explained that when on higher doses of medication, Sylvia's cognitive abilities were significantly reduced and he agreed to monitor her closely.
At the end of week two, we were advised that she had stopped eating and that she was staying in bed instead of getting up. We went to the nursing home to visit her on Monday 6th November and it was obvious that she was on the increased pain patch and we were advised that she was also on morphine as her pain had increased to an intolerable level. She was very agitated and unable to communicate but managed to tell Jim that she loved him. Jim suggested to the nursing staff that the reason she had stopped eating was probably because she was on high doses of medication due to the pain in her arm caused by the extremely tight dressing on it, but they said that, in their opinion, it was best to keep her on it. They advised us that she was at the end of life stage and would probably die within a few days. Jim was devastated! We called her family members in so that they could say their goodbyes.
On the Tuesday wes received a call from the nursing home suggesting that we go over quickly because her condition had deteriorated. She was very still and appeared to be quite peaceful but it seemed that she didn't know we were there. Jim spent over an hour holding her and talking to her and then she suddenly smiled and shortly afterwards she took her last breath.
She is now resting in the funeral home and we are making the necessary arrangements, amongst which was to pick up the medical notice for the death cert. It stated that she had died from the sarcoma on her arm – not natural causes, which seems a bit strange when the hosptial consultant had reassured us all that the cancer would not kill her. Old age, probably, but not the cancer!
What killed Sylvia, in our opinion, was the unwarranted interference from the local GP surgery, the unnecessary intervention of the Social Sevices “Safeguarding” Team, her lack of proper “care” whilst in hospital and finally, an overdose of pain medication in her final days!
Yes, there is no doubt that Sylvia wanted to die and had desired this since fist being diagnosed with the cancer five years ago. She is now out of pain and with her God in Heaven which is what, as a devout Roman Catholic, she truly believed in.
But please, let this be an alarm call to all of us. Hemp oil is a legal and highly effective nutritional supplement and it should be recognised as such by the Government and the NHS. The only reason it is not is because of money and profits.
More research needs to be done into its use as a medicine to ascertain correct dosage levels for specific illnesses but in honour of his Mum, Jim has vowed to take up the mantle and fight for the human rights of people like Sylvia to be treated with this amazing plant and to disseminate the knowledge of its healing properties.
Hemp, as a natural medicinal alternative to drugs, could save the NHS millions and also save lives!