Kevin Farrelly and his wife Flora have been happily married for over 40 years. The couple met in 1977 while working in the then Westmore Land Hotel in London. The British national and chef became attracted to the smile and caring nature of the Italian lady who was a secretary to the manager, and would often look out for her coming to the kitchen for lunch. It was only with a second attempt that Kevin succeeded in taking Flora out for a meal and the movie ‘Grease’. They found love, got married soon after and started a family together.
Unfortunately, in 1998, Flora then aged 48 years old, was diagnosed with progressive lung disease. The couple moved to Singapore in 1999 for Flora to be close to her brother and his family. Kevin started working in his brother-in-law’s restaurant while Flora sought medical treatment.
In 2014, the restaurant closed because of escalating costs and Kevin was out of work. The family began to face financial difficulties. Kevin took close to a year to find a new job and could only then begin rebuilding their finances. However, their burden continued to escalate. In 2015, Flora’s lung disease worsened and she was further diagnosed with cervical cancer. As the ongoing treatment was unable to halt the progression of both diseases, Flora decided to stop treatment and was referred to Assisi Hospice’s Home Care service.
As we journeyed with the family, we found Kevin to be facing high stress levels as both the main care giver and bread winner. Assisi Hospice provides care for patients across the continuum of Home Care, Inpatient and Day Care; the team decided to admit Flora into our inpatient service for a short period of respite care. This helped to relieve Kevin from caring for Flora during a tough time at work. The clinical team was also able to adjust Flora’s medication dosage so that her symptoms could be better managed making her more comfortable. There are no healthcare subsidies available for foreigners and Assisi Hospice waived off part of the inpatient cost. What Flora appreciated was the warmth and support shown to her by our doctors, nurses and staff, and the fact that her symptoms could be better managed.
When Kevin became accustomed to his new work routine, Flora returned to being cared for at home, and continued to have Home Care visits, a service that is rendered at no cost for all Home Care patients.
Flora has grown fond of the Assisi team which she regards as family. The care given to her is just like how family members would care for each other.