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Brenda Angela Downes, 29 January 1941 to 21 January 2024

Updated: Feb 2

I am heartbroken to tell you that my lovely mother left this world quietly and peacefully yesterday morning. She was diagnosed with dementia in 2020, her condition declined in recent months, she was very ill over the holiday period and she was admitted into hospital just over a week ago. Sadly, she did not respond to treatment and palliative care was started last Wednesday. It’s been terribly hard to sit by helplessly while she slipped away, but it was good to see her at peace and reassuring to know that she was comfortable for the last days of her life.

I pay tribute to all the NHS staff who contributed to her care in recent times - West Midlands Ambulance Service, New Cross Hospital (especially the staff of Wards C16 and C17 and the Palliative Care Team) and all those who have helped before, including Castlecroft Medical Practice, Helping Hands Home Care and the various NHS specialist services.

A very special shout-out to my lovely Dad, who has cared for her tirelessly for the four years since she was first diagnosed and through some particularly difficult times recently as both her condition and her general health deteriorated. We said at the outset that we didn’t ever want her to go into a home, and we worked very hard together to succeed in that objective. I hope that when his grief subsides he can get the rest he deserves and then be able to embrace some of the aspects of life that he has missed out on in recent years.

Finally, my thanks to those friends who have given enormous emotional and practical support to me throughout this terrible time (and are still doing so). They know who they are, and they are very special to me.

I know that many, many people have made comments on previous posts and sent me messages to which I have not responded. Hopefully at some point I will be able to catch up with them all, but for now please know that I really do appreciate every single one.

Finally, as part of the commemoration of her life, I intend to extend the online appeal for Dementia UK to allow anyone who so wishes to give a donation in memory of my Mom.

Love to you all.

Rebecca xx

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