Shirley’s story

“A friend of mine recently spent three months in St. Michael’s Palliative Care Unit. Her family members weren’t familiar with the hospital and understandably were under a lot of stress at the time.

They were apprehensive prior to her admission, but were greatly relieved that she was in such a welcoming and comfortable place.

They also told me of their appreciation of the outstanding clinical care my friend received and the compassionate emotional support provided to her and her family by the staff.

I visited regularly and was very encouraged by the level of excellence of clinical and physical care given by the nursing staff. It was quite a relief that, in the midst of her complex symptoms, my friend was maintained at a level of comfort and able to “live until she died.”

I felt a great sense of pride to have been part of the creation of the unit. I was head nurse when the Palliative Care Unit was developed and then unit manager until 1993.

I remember when it was called “the jewel of palliative care in Toronto” and I could see that it still deserves that title.”