"Those we love will always be a part of us. I'd like us to help others with this lung condition so that no-one has to navigate this terminal illness alone"
On 20th August 2021 in the early hours, Rozmina, aged 65, passed away peacefully with her husband Nash by her side. Rozmina was a retired Family Support Worker with Warwickshire County Council. Her daughter, Kohinoor, tells us her mum was exceptionally proud of her work and knew its importance. She made it her mission to make others feel better, whoever they were.
It is clear that wherever my mum went, she left an impact - she touched the hearts of so many with her care and compassion. She would light up a room, quickly make you feel at ease, and find a way to put a smile on your face
In 2016, whilst working for Barnado's, Rozmina and her colleagues were invited to Buckingham Palace to celebrate the charity's 150th anniversary. Rozmina managed to seek out Javed Khan MBE - CEO of Barnado's, in the VIP area and coerced him into having a photo with the team. Kohinoor recalls, "every time I look at this photo, I smile to myself, thinking of my mischievous mum, the excitement of that day and how much joy her work brought her. Her beaming smile and cheeky laugh is etched in my memory".
Diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) in 2018, Kohinoor tells us "we didn't know how to cope in the early stages. There were lots of scans and biopsies, but frustratingly more questions than answers".
"We were told it could be months or years. The healthcare professionals used the term 'interstitial lung disease', which is the vaguest possible term you could use to describe such a fatal condition. To term an illness 'idiopathic' or 'interstitial' simply means you really don't know what it is - the cause is unknown but the prognosis bleak. At that point, the sad reality was if we said cancer, I think there would be a far better understanding of what this was and what would happen next - not only with our close ones but across the medical profession too. I still find this hard to fathom".
As a family, trying to explain, process and accept the inevitable outcome was exceptionally tough. It will continue to be a devastating reality for both patients and their loved ones if we don't continue to raise awareness and funds for this cause, which are both equally vital.
"Rozmina was, and will continue to be, a mum, a wife, a sister, an aunt, and an unforgettable friend and colleague. We have memories that we will cherish; that smile, her laugh and those thoughtful words of wisdom".
Over the last six months, Kohinoor has raised close to £4,000 for APF by creating a tribute fund on the MuchLoved website, encouraging donations on her Facebook birthday fundraiser, and through a memorial event, fundraising with Rozmina's work colleagues.
These funds help APF to do more and have a real impact on the lives of those people living with pulmonary fibrosis, now and in the future.