As the Medical Director of Tōtara Hospice, I don’t often write to our supporters, I tend to spend my days helping improve our patients’ quality of life and death. But, I wanted to acknowledge everyone who has donated to us over this critical period. During the multiple lockdowns over the last two years, our hospice stores were shut, and we could not hold any fundraising events resulting in us losing a significant amount of income, but we put the word out and you responded resoundingly with donations that have helped us significantly.
I never wanted our financial crisis to have a direct impact on palliative services, and while we still have a way to go, your continued donations give me confidence we can get there.
In my role, dealing with death and dying every day, people often comment to me about how hard that must be, and they are right in some ways. However, it might come as a surprise to learn that I love my job. Being able to help families navigate the journey of a dying loved one is a true honour.
Death is the one guarantee in our lives, and you only get one chance to get it right. Hospice is not only about dying; it is about helping patients live life to the fullest, with the time they have left - living well and dying with dignity.
Your donations have gone directly towards supporting the frontline care of patients and whānau just like yours, and for that, I want to say a heartfelt thank you.
Yours in service,
Dr James Jap
Medical Director and Palliative Medicine Specialist