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The Sloan Family's Story
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"That’s the last picture of us together, at our son’s wedding not long before he passed away," recalls Tammy, as she shows a photo of her late husband Dave.
Dave’s journey through life was interrupted at a relatively young age when he was diagnosed with melanoma, a type of cancer that spread to his brain.
In 2017, Dave was admitted to the Complex Transitional Care (CTC) Unit at Georgetown Hospital, not far from their home. Patients on this unit typically require extensive assistance with activities of daily living and frequently have complex medical, functional or cognitive problems, and end of life care needs.
Staff and physicians cared for Dave in his final few weeks of life. Tammy has many positive memories of Dave’s palliative care, "Treatment at Georgetown Hospital was exceptional. The nursing care, the sense of community and all the activities were amazing." The goal of palliative care is to relieve suffering and improve the quality of living and dying.
Dave loved the outdoors; when his condition worsened, he was moved to a room across from the nursing station so staff could be close. "The room looked out onto a beautiful wooded lot. It felt like home so we called it his cottage."
It meant the world to Tammy that Dave was able spend his final weeks with people that cared so compassionately, "The staff really made a difference. The whole experience created connections and special memories that I will cherish every time I remember my husband."
"Without the local support at Georgetown Hospital, it would have been so much harder on us, on Dave and on our family. It was really, really nice that we had this experience in our town."