The Wentworth Health Service has received a generous $10,000 donation from the late Ms Wilga Wicks and her family to go towards having a palliative care room in the health service where patients and their families can spend as much time together as possible.
Ms Wilga Wicks had been a palliative care patient for nearly five months at Wentworth Health Service. In that time the health service staff supported her wishes by hosting her 80th birthday for her and her family, and Christmas, New Year and Valentine’s Day celebrations.
Wilga and the Health Service Manager, Ms Kelly Dart would often discuss a vision of turning one of the two-bed rooms in the facility into one big palliative care room which would provide a beautiful serene landscape outside and be large enough for family to spend the night or as long as possible with their loved one with no restrictions.
“We often talked about what her room could look like and my main focus was getting the patients and family’s input on what would work,” said Ms Dart. “From my experience sitting in a hospital room all day and all night with loved ones, the family and patients are the best people to get ideas from.”
Ms Dart said Wilga’s end of life wish was to remain at the Wentworth Health Service and be surrounded by her family with support of our wonderful nursing and hotel services staff.
“With the help of her daughter, Wilga wrote a beautiful letter to us on the day she passed away. Her only request was that the money be spent on palliative care for Wentworth Health Service.”
When the family presented the cheque to the health service, they were informed that once the room was completed it would be named the “Wilga Wicks Room”.
Ms Dart explained that the money would be spent on new blinds for the room (one of Wilga’s ideas) and a fresh coat of paint. “Once that is completed then we would love to purchase more equipment, for example single lounges that pull out to beds, a small fridge for the family and new bed/mattress for the patients,” said Ms Dart.
This donation has come at a wonderful and exciting time for the Wentworth Health Service as it moves into a new era of providing sub-acute, palliative, rehabilitation and recovery inpatient care for the community of the Wentworth Local Government Area.
“We are now able to provide a significant service to the Wentworth LGA by assisting our community to have care closer to home,” said Ms Dart. “We now have referrals from Mildura, Melbourne, Adelaide and even Ballarat for our patients to return closer to home.”