Hospice breaks ground on forever home

| 25/06/2017 | 0 Comments
CNS Local Life

Stakeholders raise shovels at hospice groundbreaking

(CNS Local Life): After moving four times since being established in 1998, Cayman HospiceCare will finally be getting a permanent home, a milestone celebrated Thursday, 15 June with an official groundbreaking on its new headquarters that will be located on West Bay Road. A yearlong fundraising effort by marathoner Derek Haines brought in $1.4 million towards construction of the facility, which should take about a year to complete.

Noting the importance of a dedicated facility to Cayman, Felicia McLean, hospice director of operations and nursing, said, “We know that we will all face death one day and many are scared by the thought. It is the mission of Cayman HospiceCare to educate and support patient and families living in the Cayman Islands and enable them to die in the comfort of their home.

“Unfortunately, this is not possible for everyone as they may not have family who are able to care for them. They may suffer from uncontrollable pain or other discomforting symptoms or their primary caregivers may be exhausted. This in-patient unit offers the patient and their families a home-like setting with skilled staff offering excellent symptom management, compassion and dignity.”

The new facility, which will be located next to Coconut Joe’s, will bring the administrative and in-patient units under one roof, she explained, including a nursing station and four bedrooms for patients, which can also accommodate family members.

“Each room will have its own porch looking out onto a private garden,” McLean added. “It will also have a lounge/family room where families congregate as they would in their living rooms at home coupled with a music option and a TV area. The goal is for patient, family and friends to feel like they are in a home-like environment.

Felicia McLean, operations director of Cayman HospiceCare

Haines ran six marathons in 2014 to raise the money. “When the suggestion was put to me I had just been discussing a greater appeal with Chris Johnson, a good chum and fellow Rotarian,” he recalled. “Having raised money for hospice before, I knew what a fantastic function they perform for the people in Cayman and could see it was an excellent fit for what we wanted to do.”

Hospice board chairman Chris Duggan lauded Haines for his fundraising efforts. “We would not be at this point without the incredible support of the Cayman community and in particular Derek Haines who was the catalyst to the entire project.”

Haines’ marathon efforts were central to getting project off the ground, he added. “It was not just the miles he ran that made this successful, his passion for hospice has become very clear through the process and it is his passion for the cause that was of equal value to the miles he ran as he was able to talk to people about hospice and rally support for the project as a result.

“This building will stand in tribute to the Cayman community who rallied around the cause in an unbelievable way to make it a reality and we thank Derek and the entire community for all they have done to get us to this point.”

He called the groundbreaking of the facility “a momentous and historic day”, adding, “A dedicated hospice facility has long been the dream of our organisation and so to see this dream move one step closer to reality was a fantastic and emotional day for us all.”

McLean also spoke of her gratitude to Haines, saying his desire to run the marathons to raise the money for Cayman HospiceCare was “a dream come true. It was also amazing to see the community support his initiative to get us to where we are today.”

The groundbreaking meant a lot to him, Haines said, calling the moment, ”Absolutely fantastic.”

While acknowledging “some frustration” over the delay in beginning construction, he said, “It takes time to get it right and I am now over the moon that the actual building will commence in the next couple of weeks.

“I am still amazed at the fantastic response to this appeal and the manner the Cayman public got behind a not-so-young bloke trundling around the world. The support kept me going and I can only thank all concerned — the governor, the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman, friends, family and the generous nature of our islanders.”

 

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Category: Donations, Medical and Health

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