A visit from Malcolm

Thanks to the caring members of our community who responded to a unique patient request, we were able to help Margaret fulfill her final wish to see a sulphur-crested cockatoo one last time. 


Margaret lived her final days at the Mary Potter Hospice, and after taking the time to get know Margaret and her family, the Hospice team soon discovered Margaret’s great love of birds.

“She’d always been a great lover of birds, ever since she was young but even more so since she retired and lived by the river,” said Janet, Margaret’s daughter. Janet and Margaret fondly reflected and remembered the regular visits from a flock of six mischievous cockatoos who would confidently eat almonds from the palm of Margaret’s hand. Feeding and watching birds were truly some of the happiest moments of Margaret’s life.

After the difficult long days and nights in the Mary Potter Hospice, the staff team knew exactly what the family needed to get them through this very tough time. With support from The Mary Potter Foundation community, the staff team organised a surprise visitor for Margaret and her family – a visit from a very cheeky, confident cockatoo called Malcolm!

It was quite a sight! Malcolm, a 7 year old sulphur crested cockatoo perched up in bed next to Margaret, who was a lifelong bird lover, with just days to live.

Surrounded by her loved ones and Hospice staff, smiles and tears filled the room as the special connection Margaret had with birds was again realised.  “Seeing the smile that lit up Mum’s face when she had time with Malcolm was so special, particularly at this very sad time,” recalls Janet.

As Malcolm got a little bit 'showy', dancing along the bed rail, lifting the crest of feathers on top of his head, and spreading his wings, Margaret smiled and everyone knew she was in a happy place. The calming presence that filled the room was truly a beautiful moment that Margaret’s family will speak of for years to come.

As it was time for our special visitor to leave, a single feather dropped to the floor of the room. It was as if Malcolm left one last gift for Margaret and her family. A serendipitous moment and a sign that Margaret was in the right place at the right time.

In memory of Margaret who passed away in the Mary Potter Hospice in July 2016.