‘How end-of-life plan can ease suffering for families’

Friday, 6th May — By Charlotte Chambers

Mireille Haydon

Mireille Haydon with her father, Peter Herbert

A WOMAN who runs a charity offering residents the chance to arrange end-of-life plans for free has urged people to come forward after watching her father suffer in his final years.

Mireille Haydon has called on people to contact Future Matters – currently only available to those who live in Islington or have an Islington-based GP – to sort out care plans, make treatment decisions and arrange wills, even if it is just for sentimental items not worth anything financially.

Ms Haydon said that had her father, Peter Herbert, made an end-of-life care plan it would have saved both of them a great deal of heartache before his death last year.

She spoke about the “traumatising” experience of watching him go from being a “bit absent-minded” to “being completely tipped into a world where words had no sense” after a bleed was discovered on his brain in September 2019.

It transpired that he had had a series of strokes which had left him with just “half a brain” that was functioning.

She said: “He was admitted to hospital with a bleed, but instead of saying ‘let’s put him into palliative care’, they tried to keep him alive. Keeping him alive was really unpleasant for him. It was prolonging his distress.

“I want people to listen to my story and make it a different story for the ones you love, and save them from the kind of distress I went through. The way to make changes is to put plans in place.

“My story is really traumatic but it doesn’t need to be like that. If my father had written a plan for end-of-life care he could have stated, ‘If I become ill or lose capacity I want a natural death supported with palliative care’.”

He was hospitalised and, not long after, all visits were stopped due to Covid. They did not see each other again for a year and a half.

Related Articles