In the face of deep loss, one family has decided to help others by honouring the wish of their dying husband and father Eric Rosario.
A champion weightlifter as a young man in India, and a very fit and active 85 year-old member of the Greensborough community where he had lived for 40 years, Sports Physiologist Eric Rosario was shocked to find out in 2016 that he had advanced bowel cancer and that medical science could only offer palliative care.
His wish was to stay at home and his wife Prisca kept him there as long as possible but because of the physicality of his needs he became a patient in the Palliative Care ward at the ONJ Cancer Centre. During this time, it was important to Eric that he connect with family and friends from all over the globe so he could say what he needed to say.
“Dad used his iPad to keep in touch with family and friends in different parts of Australia and around the world while in the Palliative Care Unit,” says Viola, Eric’s daughter. “He was able to connect with his sisters in England using FaceTime and listen to a song his nieces in different countries – England and the USA – had put together for him.”
Kind and generous to the very end, Eric wanted to help others in the same situation connect with family unable to visit. He wanted to donate money for technology in the Palliative Care Unit that would allow patients to connect with family and friends interstate and overseas. Together with donations made in lieu of flowers at Eric’s funeral and a personal donation made by Prisca, $7,500 was raised to upgrade the technology in the Relaxation Room, a room designed for patients and families to spend time together. Prisca sadly and unexpectedly passed away ten months after Eric, making the family even more determined to honour Eric’s wish.
“The Relaxation Room now includes a very large interactive touch screen TV connected to computer apps, families can watch DVD’s together, travel the world via YouTube virtual tours and use FaceTime to talk to family and friends overseas and interstate,” says Hilary Hodgson, Nurse Unit Manager of the Palliative Care Unit. “We are so grateful to this beautiful and generous family for helping other families in the future.”
“We could have filmed the hills of Greensborough and the birds in the lemon-scented gums he loved, and immersed him in that world before he died.”
– Louise Jenkins and Alois Rosario, Eric’s children
Because of the Rosario family, other patients and families will be able to connect with special people around the globe, share time together watching movies or even take virtual tours of places they will no longer be able to visit. Thank you.
You can help people with cancer, just like the Rosario family. Please consider donating today.