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Local healthcare wins high praise

By Chelsea Boyle

[email protected]

Nola Fagg was visiting family in Carterton when she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer just two weeks before Christmas.

The 84-year-old would never return to her home in Tauranga — she died in Carterton on January 23.

The diagnosis came as a devastating blow for the family — her son Barry Fagg and his partner, Kay, worried that Mrs Fagg’s illness would be difficult to manage so far from her regular doctor.

Instead they were astonished by the level of care Carterton Medical Centre, Kahukura and Wairarapa DHB provided Mrs Fagg with in the weeks before her death.

“Nothing at all was a problem.

“We didn’t have to ask for anything, everything was offered before we got to the point of asking.”

Everything they could possibly need was brought to their house including a wheelchair, a highchair, and a walking stick.

They were encouraged to keep some of those things in the house, just in case they were needed.

The couple said they appreciated the honesty about what was going to happen.

They were as prepared and supported as they could be, and embraced the time they had left.

“Mum as a very quiet, humble person,” Mr Fagg said.

But in those final weeks she let her hair down a little bit, she was encouraged to eat whatever she liked and stayed awake to see in the new year for the first time in years.

“Everything was about her.”

Living with her son in Carterton, Mrs Fagg tended to the rose garden for short spells, knitted and listened to hymns.

She had one on one time with her children Dayle, Raewyn, Barry and Pauline and all her grandchildren.

The family celebrated her life and had fun where they could, often giving Mrs Fagg her liquid medicine in a cocktail glass.

“We had some good laughs.”

The couple said the medical care Mrs Fagg received was superb — X-rays were taken to ensure everything was being done to ensure she remained comfortable.

Mr Fagg said he appreciated that doctors and nurses always looked his mother in the eye, making sure she made all her own medical decisions.

“Everything was on her terms.”

The couple said Kahukura nurses visited often and quickly became a part of the family.

Mr Fagg said there was never any rush or pressure, the nurses would stay until everybody was comfortable with what was happening.

They would drop by within minutes to help if Mrs Fagg was in any pain.

Of her last six and half weeks, Mrs Fagg only had to spend one in hospital.

The care she received has already inspired family friends to donate to Kahukura, and Mr Fagg hopes other will do the same.

“They don’t get enough thanks.”

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