When a resident at Victoria Care Centre in North West London, Mr L, was diagnosed with a terminal illness, care staff’s only aim was to ensure that Mr L was supported and comfortable. They also asked Mr L if there were any final wishes he wanted fulfilled. Completely surprised by his heart-breaking response, what followed was an incredible family reunion after more than three decades apart…
In her own words, Jayshri Chandarana, Activities Co-ordinator, tells the beautiful story:
“I am the Activities Co-ordinator of a large care home in North West London, Victoria Care Centre. I would like to share a heart-warming story of a family reuniting after 32 years. A story that reminds us that time is precious and teaches us to appreciate the time we have with our loved ones.
One of our residents, Mr L, was recently diagnosed with a terminal illness. In such circumstances, our only aim is to try to make individuals as comfortable as possible, and try to fulfil any final wishes or requests.
This man had never disclosed any information about his family during his five years residing at the home, despite being asked about his background. When asked how he wanted to spend his time, Mr L told me his only wish was to see his family one final time.
It was then that we made the heart-breaking discovery that Mr L had not had any contact with his family in 32 years.
In an attempt to fulfil the resident’s request, we tried to gather as much information about his family and their last whereabouts. At first it seemed an impossible task, with the limited information that was available and the amount of time that had passed. With perseverance and continued efforts, we managed to use the information to make contact with the family. This was achieved through contact with a Priest in Ireland who was familiar with the family, via a Priest at one of our local churches.
On making contact, Mr L’s siblings were massively shocked and overjoyed to hear the news of their brother’s location, as they did not know where he was, let alone whether he was okay.
The family immediately made the trip from Ireland to London to spend time with their brother. Both Mr L and his family were overwhelmed at being given the opportunity to be back together, which they had never considered possible. They were able to create everlasting memories, whilst giving our resident his final happiness. This reunion was absolutely heart-warming to witness and gave us great gratification in the role we play.
We wanted to share this story as a prompt to everyone out there who has the ability to better the lives of those they care for.
Step out of the box, go the extra mile, change someone’s life.”
An absolutely inspirational story, and we thank Jayshri and the staff at Victoria Care Centre for their devotion to Mr L’s happiness.