“Beautiful spirited boy’: Sam Hurst, who received end of life care at home surrounded by his family until his death at just 17 year of age.

Back in 2017 Lorna Hurst shared her very personal story with Palliative Matters about her son Sam’s bowel cancer diagnosis, treatment and death at just 17 years-of-age.

In 2009, after nine months of intensive chemotherapy, 17 year old Sam Hurst decided (with the support of his family) to forgo palliative chemotherapy, and instead spent his final months at home in Perth surrounded by the people and things that he loved most. In this time Sam bought a car and passed his driving test; read all his beloved Harry Potter books one more time; attended his Year 12 graduation ball and even travelled to Ontario Canada to watch a hockey match between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the New York Rangers!

“Whilst acknowledging that some patients may choose palliative chemotherapy, the ‘normal’ time Sam spent at home in his last four months gave our family the opportunity to make the memories we hold in our hearts today, and in some way it has helped us to reconcile the loss of our beautiful, spirited boy,” said Lorna.

Since 2011, Lorna has worked in end-of-life and palliative care policy development in the WA Health Department, where she is passionate about using her personal and professional knowledge to help drive quality end of life options for all Western Australians.

You can read Lorna’s moving story about her beloved son Sam here Mum celebrates her son’s life while remembering his death

Lorna Hurst