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'Having a care worker took away some stress'

    Mum, or Ima as we called her in our native Hebrew, adopted the UK as her home back in 1982.

    We both took up British nationalities with tremendous pride and made this our home too.

    Cancer hit Ima in 1992. The journey has been vicious for more than 24 years, fighting five cancers which came and went.

    The last 24 months were the harshest. Brain surgery, chemo, radiations, heart attack and CyberKnife robotic surgery. There was seemingly no end.

    All treatments ceased in March in total agreement between the medical team, Mum and us.

    The Jewish Care support helped us tremendously

    As spring arrived and Mum's battle became more fierce, we resorted to Hospice At Home care, heavy morphine and 24/7 help.

    Ima never gave up hope and neither did we, though sadly the inevitable was coming and we all felt it.

    We said goodbye to Ima hundreds of times during these 24 months. We also helped her express her wishes - connecting back to our Jewish roots was important and that is where Jewish Care came in.

    We contacted Jewish Care's helpline via an email and explained our personal journey and simply asked for help. We were assigned a social worker with experience in end-of-life care.

    She was an empathetic, human, caring, listening, spiritual, pragmatic "air traffic" controller, who represented what being Jewish is all about.

    The bottom line is having her around took some of the stress off our minds, helped us navigate the system and ensured we were providing Mum with the best care and service that was possible.

    She introduced Ima to a synagogue and connected her a rabbi who she felt comfortable with.

    July 1 was the last time Ima was conscious and coherent enough to eat by herself and manage a conversation with all of us. Three days later she self-admitted to a hospice.

    Our Jewish Care social worker was with us all through the journey. Sadly, on July 21 nature and God took our Ima to heaven.

    The support we have received has helped us tremendously through this extremely difficult time.

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