CATRIONA Seed, a Clinical Nurse Specialist in palliative care, is rowing 75 miles for City Hospice to support the charity and patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Catriona has set herself the challenge on her rowing machine, selecting 75 miles as her target to reflect the average mileage the palliative care team at City Hospice accumulate by driving around the capital in a week to visit patients.
City Hospice provides palliative care for 550 patients with life-limiting or terminal illnesses in Cardiff, in addition to services for patients’ families such as counselling and bereavement support.
Explaining why she set herself the challenge, Catriona said:
“I love working at City Hospice, it’s like being a part of a big family. I feel very privileged to work with such an amazing group of people. I want to do something positive during the COVID-19 crisis to help my team and support our patients. With our fundraising events postponed, I just want to do my bit to help our charity.
“My aunt, that I was particularly close to, received palliative care at the end of her life. It really brought it home to me personally how vital the care and support is that we offer. It’s a real privilege to look after patients and support their families when they need us most.
“I love being able to take time to be there with patients and their families and support them through difficult and often frightening times. For me, palliative care is not about dying, but about helping people to live and enjoy the things that are important to them. It’s about allowing people to have a choice about their future and supporting them and their families. This includes helping them make decisions about future care, managing symptoms and pain in addition to being there as someone to talk to.”
Catriona qualified as a nurse in 2010, working in several areas before moving into palliative care in 2015 following a spell at ITU in St George’s in London. She worked on the inpatient ward at Princess Alice Hospice in Esher before joining the City Hospice team as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in 2018.
The current COVID-19 outbreak presents extra challenges to Catriona and her fellow Clinical Nurse Specialists who continue to work on the frontline.
“The current situation with COVID-19 is causing extra anxiety for patients and families and they really appreciate it when we visit. Relatives can often be frightened of catching the virus and not being able to support their loved ones or, indeed, transmitting it to their loved one. There’s lots of anxiety in our community and it’s very rewarding to be able to give people space to share their worries.”
Liz Andrews, Chief Executive at City Hospice, said:
“We’re very proud of Cat for undertaking this challenge. She’s looking after our patients by day and continuing to support City Hospice in her spare time too. We’d be grateful at any time but even more so at a time when our fundraising events are postponed.”
Catriona started her challenge in the middle of April and aims to complete the challenge by 31st May. The date has a personal meaning for Catriona, being the second anniversary of losing her aunt. Donations to support Catriona’s challenge can be made on her JustGiving page.