Manaaki Poto

Rithia Martin Remembering you always

We used to go fishing … in the fish shop. We come from the seaside in Whangaroa, where we were used to having kai moana, but living in the city our only option was the fish in the fish shop. This is where our nightmare began, in May of 2004.

Ritihia slipped on the wet floor, and we couldn’t help her to stand up, as she was in terrible pain. We sought immediate medical attention, from the GP, X-rays, and CT scans. The diagnosis was aggressive lung cancer, metastatic. Both our world’s crumbled. How could that be? She was a non-smoker.

A second opinion confirmed a worse diagnosis: maybe she had four to six weeks. I loved her deeply, but it was time to shift to a different mode of quality care. I was a kaiawhina with He Kamaka Ora maori health services of Auckland District Health Board, and it was time to use those skills in my own home.