Peaceful farewell to Nugget, in his home

Midwest Times

Clever use of technology and caring family and medical professionals have helped grant a terminally ill Mid West man his dying wish.

Shark Bay resident William “Nugget” McClymans had terminal congenital heart failure and died in January. Although he lived a long way from the nearest hospital, he received support from palliative care staff and died at home with his dog by his side.

Daughter-in-law and carer Maureen Cross said Mr McClymans didn’t want to go to hospital and the WA Country Health Service TelePalliative Care in the Home service had provided support that enabled him to die peacefully in the home where he had lived for 60 years.

She said the service lent her father-in-law an electronic tablet so they could contact doctors and the palliative care team via videoconference when they needed support.

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“It was so easy to use — just switch it on, pop in a password and help was there,” Ms Cross said.

“The palliative care team were brilliant and I couldn’t recommend care via telehealth enough.”

“They really took time to get to know me and William. He was even blowing kisses to the nurses through the iPad!”

She said Mr McClymans was “ready to go” by the time his death was imminent.

“We were both happy that he was in his own bed with his dog Teddy tucked up beside him,” she said.

The palliative care service offers round-the-clock support to patients and carers in the Mid West, where distance and isolation may prevent them from having access to regular medical and nursing support.

Regional palliative care co-ordinator in the Mid West, Robyn Ellis, said since December when the TelePalliative Care in the Home service began, staff have supported 22 patients via telehealth.

Last week was National Palliative Care Week, which aims to raise awareness and understanding about palliative care in the community.

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