Serving Christ as an advocate

Mary, a mother of preschoolers was diagnosed with breast cancer. Both she and Bill, her husband, were from overseas and did not have any local family support. The family was referred to Susan (faith community nurse) by the church pastoral care team, at a time when they were confused, scared and overwhelmed by the situation.

The FCN was able to accompany the couple to both GP and specialist appointments (advocate) and after each specialist appointment the three of them would go to the hospital chapel where Susan could go through the information that they had been given and answer any questions (health counselor). They also took time to pray together as Mary had a strong Christian faith and her husband was a Muslim. (Spiritual care)
Mary's treatment involved a trip to a distant city for her surgery and later for radiotherapy. Bill was not able to go as he had the care of their young children. Susan  was able to arrange for a support person from the community to be with Mary for both of her hospital stays; and also organized for help from the community for meals for the family. (Care Manager/Volunteer coordinator)
At various stages of this journey Mary was able to phone Susan to discuss anything she was worried about. (Health Counselor)
One year later Mary was back at work and involved in her local community. Susan felt very privileged to have been able to support this family at a difficult time of their lives.