Terminally ill pensioner praises nurses

Norma Sustins
Norma Sustins

A PENSIONER with terminal cancer has praised the nursing staff that has cared for her since the diagnosis, keen that the work they do should be recognised.

Norma Sustins, 76, of St Mary’s Court, St Leonards, was shocked to discover she had inoperable cancer after she went to hospital with a suspected fractured pelvis in March.

Instead she was diagnosed with advanced cancer of the spine, liver, breast, and lungs. Now at home but bed-ridden, one of Norma’s last wishes is voice her gratitude for the round-the-clock care she has received, in particular from staff on Gardner and Benson wards at the Conquest Hospital, which she described as like a ‘five-star hotel’.

She said: “I cannot believe how wonderful the system is. The nurses and staff are always cheerful, never deny you anything reasonable. They never stop. I am truly impressed.”

Norma lives alone but with the constant support of her sister Maureen Brewer, who lives a few doors down, said of her diagnosis: “I have had difficulty in walking for some time, and my hips appeared to have collapsed. I asked to have an X-ray, and was then called in to see the doctor because there were abnormalities.”

The former council officer moved to St Leonards from London three years ago, and for most of that time was an active volunteer at the WRVS (now Royal Voluntary Service), in South Street.

She would help teach older people to use computers as well as working on reception and at the counter when necessary.

Sue Adey, centre development manager, said: “On behalf of all of us at centre we miss and love her desperately.

“She has been the example that others could only dream to follow.

“She has been full of wisdom, wit, hard work and dedication to us all.

“I will personally treasure having known this lady and carry her in my heart forever. She has been like a mother to me and many others. We will never be able to replace such an angel.”