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Vale Jo Swiggs

November 21 2012


Jo and Mary

Vale Jo Swiggs

Uncanny Media is sad to hear of the unexpected and untimely death of Josephine Swiggs, who passed away on 15 November 2012, aged 63.

In April this year Uncanny Media launched Mary and Me – one woman’s account of how caring for her mum turned out to be an inspiring journey. It was the story of Jo and Mary Swiggs – a handbook for anyone who has someone in their life who needs care, and a practical guide to finding the best the community can offer. Jo Swiggs decided to write the book after returning to her home town of Adelaide to care for her mother, Mary, aged 93.

“Writing Mary and Me was the realisation of a long held dream for Jo,” said Uncanny Media’s Annie Hastwell, editor of Mary and Me, who worked closely with Jo on the project.

“She’d spent years in the caring professions and she felt very strongly that our attitude to caring for elderly people needs to change for the better. As soon as she had the book published she took it and her Mum to Prague where in May this year she presented at an international conference. Jo was a dynamic force who wouldn’t take no for an answer, but got a lot of fun out of life. We’re sad to hear of her passing as she had so much more to contribute yet,” Annie said.

Uncanny Media’s Catherine Zengerer arranged the publicity for Mary and Me and launched the book in April at Mary Martin’s bookstore in Norwood.

“It was a shock to hear that Jo was ill. She was such a gutsy woman, so full of life,” Catherine said.

“It was only such a short time ago that she  was doing the rounds of Adelaide media, and whisking her mum off to Prague. It’s hard to believe that she’s gone, but Annie and I were so pleased to have helped Jo complete the project she was so passionate about, writing Mary and Me, and getting its message out to the public.”

Mary and Me is more than just a memoir – it’s the story of Jo’s re-connection with her mum, of the discovery that respect is what we all want, and that if we give more, the return can be a life well lived for all . In her book Mary and Me Jo reflected that we will all need care with dignity and respect at some stage of our lives. None of us were to know that she herself would need that care so soon. Luckily for Jo, there were many friends around to care for her in her time of need.

Rest in peace.



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