Doctors’ stories

Lessons in life and death

How our first patients let us know we were doing the right thing. When we started Alignd, and building the Alignd.Palliative offering, we had years and years of training, research, networking and experience between us. It covered all the fields and skills needed to launch a business like this. And we had planned everything in minute detail. But until we took on our first patients, [...]

Much-needed support on an often-lonely road

Dr Pelisa Ford is a practising oncologist and palliative care physician. That’s a fairly rare combination, but a very powerful one for her patients. Here’s why… “I wouldn’t be the doctor I am today, without palliative care,” says Dr Pelisa Ford. When Pelisa was a medical officer in oncology – not yet a qualified oncologist – her role was to look after [...]

Taking care to people’s homes

Palliative care doctor, Dr Cameron Bruce, chooses to care for patients away from a frenetic hospital environment where physicians run in and out of rooms, order lab tests and check results. He chooses to sit down with patients and their families, to stay longer, and offer deep care and comfort. When curative treatment ceases to work, patients can sometimes feel [...]

The need for kindness, and really listening

Dr Nosisa Matsiliza wants medical practitioners and patients to know that palliative care doesn’t mean giving up; palliative care is not just for the very last days of life. Dr Nosisa Matsiliza was practising palliative care long before she officially trained as a palliative care doctor in 2017. The holistic approach to care – looking at physical, [...]

Caregiver and baby

Honesty, empathy and morphine

Dr Julia Ambler is a paediatric palliative care doctor who, together with the team at Umduduzi Hospice in KZN, provide care and support for very sick children and their families. Her primary tools are honesty, empathy and expertly administered morphine. There’s a story Dr Julia Ambler tells about a two-year-old girl who was diagnosed with a rare, slow-growing brain tumour. [...]

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