Home News Jason Tamas praises The Kirkwood's kindness and compassion whilst caring for his mum Glenda

10 Jul 2024 Community

Jason Tamas praises The Kirkwood’s kindness and compassion whilst caring for his mum Glenda

The Kirkwood works incredibly hard to offer services in the community where we care for anyone with a life limiting illness. Those services which are provided by our amazing community nursing team not only look after patients but also look out for the wellbeing of the patient's family. Our nurses are particularly adaptable to be able to help those families who are in different and difficult situations. We work closely with our friends and partners across the health sector like Locala to offer the best care possible. 

One person who is grateful for the help and support provided by our nurses is Jason Tamas. Jason, who is the sole carer for his parents, was caring for his mother Glenda before she died earlier this year after being diagnosed with cancer. Jason is registered blind and whilst he can see slightly his eyesight has made it even more difficult to care for his parents over the years. 

Glenda, his mum, was diagnosed with Ampullary and Pancreatic cancer in September 2023 and died at home in April 2024. Jason explained the difficult time he and his family went through at that moment. 

He said: “My mum was diagnosed in September 2023, we got to January 2024 and she started to become really unwell so I called the doctor out. He managed to relieve the symptoms she was having for a few months. However the problem returned and therefore the doctor mentioned a few things they could do to help improve her situation. However my mum said that they were just delaying the inevitable. The doctor referred her to The Kirkwood for specialist palliative care. A week later we met Leanne Howard, a The Kirkwood specialist care nurse for the first time.

“My mum was dreading all the nurses coming in and out of the house. However Leane talked to her, kept her calm and made my mum feel comfortable. Me and my mum were close, we both cared for my dad who had a mental breakdown in 1998 and his physical health hasn't been the best over the years since. When my mum got ill I became the sole carer for both parents. It was really hard and being registered blind it means things are even more difficult.” 

Jason admits that whilst he did his best to care for both parents, he was grateful for Leanne’s intervention. 

Jason commented: “Leanne judged everything perfectly; she never put a foot wrong. It was amazing really how well she judged everything because she knew what action to take at what time or what to say and when to say it. One example was my mum didn't take the morphine she was provided to help with her pain. I think my mum felt a bit fearful of using it. So when Leanne came around she asked my mum why she hadn't used it. Leanne then got her to try it and within moments my mum said the pain had gone. All it needed was a nudge from Leanne but said in a comforting way and that's what Leanne was good at. 

“The last few years since the Covid-19 pandemic have been hard. I've gone from doing lots of things in my life to just being a carer for my parents and that's it. Leanne explained to my mum that I couldn't do everything for her and that I needed help. When mum understood that and trusted Leanne, that lifted some pressure off of my shoulders. 

“Being registered blind and a full time carer is hard, you can’t do things as easily and Leanne was good at understanding that when I talked to her.” 

Jason is now accessing The Kirkwood’s bereavement team services and believes this is having a huge positive affect for him mentally. 

He added: “I grieved for my mum whilst she was still alive and that is odd to say that but apparently it's very common for carers to feel that way. I was at my worst around November or December time and it would be little things that set me off. An example is my mum up until she went to hospital last July she used to love mixed fruit and cashew nuts. She used to have them after dinner. She had parkinsons and people with that disease are not good with swallowing food, so eating cashew nuts it's probably the worst thing she could have had, but she loved them. 

“However after she'd been in hospital, she never wanted to want them again. I don't know why but she just never wanted to eat them again. 

“In late January, I was clearing the cupboard out and there were four bags of cashew nuts and mixed fruit all out of date. I chucked them all in the bin and as I did I sobbed my heart out. You'd think how can something like that upset you so much, but it did, it had a big effect on me.” 

Already mentioned in this article, Leanne has had a big effect on Jason's life. He will always remember the kindness and professionalism Leanne showed especially at his lowest point. 

He said: “I can't thank The Kirkwood enough and especially Leanne, she has been amazing. Throughout my mum's care she was just brilliant and I always remember how professional she was and I admired her for that. Leanne showed me kindness and compassion when I most needed it, she made us feel like we were the only people she had to care for. 

“The Kirkwood is such an important charity in Kirklees in my opinion. They made a real difference to me and my mum's life at the time and they continue to help me now with the counseling. I'll always be grateful to The Kirkwood for the help, support and guidance they've given me.” 

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