My last palliative care job in London, I was privileged to care for a 94 year old Doctor. Her life began in Bogota at the British Embassy where her father was the UKs man there.
Her long life saw her a P.O.W in Bad Godesburg, after being rounded up in VICHY where she worked as a children’s doctor. Her recall of that time was adamant and angry. Told me some of life’s tragedies for individuals is being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
As she aged her sight slowly diminished and when I meet her the vision in both eyes were reduced to little more than 15%. Didn’t stop her studying a spider with a magnifying glass.
An immediate bond was established between us and I spent a year being her prime carer with her pledging me, within a week of us knowing each other, that I was never to hospitalize her. That I never had to do and her dying was a peaceful and lovely conclusion for her and for me.
During my frequent discussions with her, stories from her incredible life I wish I had recorded, but almost every day she kept reiterating the most dangerous thing for the planet was the loss of our bio diversity and the inevitable collapse of life as we know it.
I felt then her words were already coming true.
The article below, 22 years on from Doctor Amalia Maude Brandon’s dying could have been written by her back then.