Family’s tribute to Weston-super-Mare woman who campaigned for healthcare changes
PUBLISHED: 08:00 26 January 2019
A woman who died of breast cancer has been praised for her prominent role fighting to change the end of life treatment people can receive in Australia.
Anna Edgell grew up in Weston before emigrating to Australia to pursue a career as a midwife in 2015.
But after falling ill during the Christmas of 2017, doctors confirmed she had stage four breast cancer.
She campaigned for a regional palliative care hospice in the Central Coast area of the country, which has no hospice or palliative care facilities outside of nursing homes or hospitals.
Anna, whose breast cancer had spread to her liver, lungs and pelvis, spent her final days speaking up for work to begin on building a hospice in the region, which could be called Elsie’s Retreat, before her death on December 1.
Anna’s father Bob Bateman told the Mercury: “Anna’s dream was for a palliative care centre to be built which is similar to those we get here in England.
“She worked as a midwife for more than 13 years and had a massive impact on people’s lives, particularly in her last few months.”
Anna, aged 38, was born in Ashcombe House and attended Walliscote School and the former Wyvern Community School.
She moved to Australia with her husband Darren, six-year-old daughter Ellie and son Bradley, aged 18, four years ago.
Before emigrating, Anna worked at Southmead Hospital and would regularly return to Weston to see her family.
Elsie’s Retreat could receive more than £2.7millon next month from the Australian Government after four years of raising awareness about its necessity.
An online campaign for a hospice in the region has garnered more than 7,000 signatures since Anna’s death.
Her appeal attracted both regional and national press coverage in Australia.
A celebration of Anna’s life will be held at Bristol’s BAWA Club, in Southmead Road, on February 9 at 7.30pm.
Bob added: “She was just a fantastic woman and as a family we are devastated.
“Her husband now has to look after two children on the other side of the world, it is going to be difficult.
“She is a great loss, not only to us but also to the community and those she helped.”