Gisborne – Lucy Mill was a special woman that went the extra mile and made a difference in her community but passed away unexpectedly on the 17th November 2019. Multiple Sclerosis New Zealand (MSNZ) wishes to honour her 20 years of dedicated service to Peter Reichenbach and the MS community, by conferring upon her the Esme Tombleson Award.
Lucy was more than just a carer. For Peter Reichenbach, who lived with Progressive MS, she was also a dear friend. “We were very fortunate to have Lucy as a carer for Peter. She made a measurable impact on his life over 20 years of care for him,” says Judy Livingstone, Secretary of Gisborne East Coast MS Society.
Lucy tended to Peter’s every need, feeding, clothing, showering and cooking for him. She visited Peter three times a day, every day, and made sure that he had a positive and constant presence in his life. Lucy helped break down the social barriers so that he remained connected to his Church and MS friends.
As Peter’s MS evolved over the 20 years, she embraced the challenges and adapted her care accordingly. In particular, she supported Peter’s nutritional needs and dietary requirements by growing fruit and vegetables on his patio. Unfortunately, Peter passed away earlier in the year.
Lucy’s willingness to go the extra mile was exemplary, without which Peter’s quality of life would have been impossible.
On 30th October, MSNZ announced that Lucy was to receive the 2019 Esme Tombleson Carer of the Year Award, for her outstanding contribution to Peter and the MS community. Sadly, Lucy passed away a fortnight before she was due to receive the award. Instead, the award was presented in her memory by the Gisborne East Coast MS Society, to her long-time partner Jay Ngarimu on the 4th December at their Christmas lunch.