Doctors and nurses are realities for many, especially those sick at home or in the hospital.

I know this for a fact because I have experienced and witnessed this back in June and July of 2016. My aging mother was ill at home, then later had to be admitted to the Strait-Richmond Hospital. It was a sad thing to go through during my mother’s final days.

This is when professional palliative care becomes important in giving dignity to the patient and their family. In my case, palliative care was always there with professional care and guidance for me and my family. Help was only a bed buzzer or phone call away, day or night.

My letter is well overdue but my thank-you’s are still fresh as the day I said thank you to all the working staff, nurses and doctors, especially palliative care nurse Nancy Cameron and doctor Robert Martel.

Hats off to you Dr. Martel for the dedicated hours, day or night, while providing professional services. And Nancy Cameron, who worked at our home and at palliative care at the hospital, was a dream come true. Your soft spoken words and guidance was touching to myself and my family in our time of sadness.

Unfortunately, Dr. Martel has since retired and was not replaced by any other doctor, leaving a void in palliative care, while leaving nurse Cameron to work without a palliative care team doctor.

Why the Strait-Richmond Hospital wouldn’t continue having a doctor appointed to do palliative care after Dr. Martel retired is beyond my understanding.

I personally know the need is there to help the many aching hearts who have to watch a loved one in their final days.
Now in 2017, please reconsider what you left undone in 2016. I plead with officials to consider the needs of so many people and their families. A doctor like Dr. Martel is a must during fatal illness at home or in a hospital.

Compassion and guidance are needed for families and patients who need Palliative Care at home or in a hospital bed.

Clarence Landry