Charles has been bedbound for an extended period of years, and left his bed only a few times when taken by stretcher to a doctor or hospital. After a previous physical therapy effort with another agency was a complete failure, he had given up hope of ever seeing anything but the four walls of his bedroom. After Visiting Nurse assumed responsibility for his care, Charles began a new life.
First, he was fitted for a wheelchair, a big step for Charles as he was nervous about transferring to it. Charles recalls, “And then, the miracle: I re-entered the larger world, under my own power, for the first time in over four years. I rolled from by bedroom into my den; something that almost anyone else would take for granted, but for me, it was so much more: it was freedom to live again.”
But Charles’ team was not done helping him improve his life. Charles later achieved another incredible goal: his legs bore weight for the first time in many years. “My legs were no longer just useless appendages; they have suddenly become a working part of me again,” he said. Charles is working up to his next set of goals, but first took the time to write to Visiting Nurse to express gratitude for his new life.
“Perhaps the most important thing your staff has brought me is hope, simple hope. They have made my life so much better I do not want any other home health care agency providing service for me. I have learned the most important part of any medical service is the people providing it, and I have complete and absolute confidence in Visiting Nurse. I cannot sing the praises of my team enough.”
Jon met his future wife Sally when she filled in at the last minute in a play he was doing. Little did heknow, he would soon be playing a new role in a full house. Sixteen years older, Sally’s family included her daughter, two grandchildren and a niece, all under one roof.
Sally began to have chronic health problems. Debilitating arthritis was followed by kidney failure and arterial blockages. Then doctors discovered Stage 3 breast cancer that soon spread to her liver and lungs. After many long talks, Sally and Jon left the difficult regimen of aggressive treatment and chronic hospitalization and entered hospice care with Visiting Nurse.
More than anything, Sally wanted to be at home with her family. “Don’t send me to Shady Pines,” she would joke. That was possible, Jon says, only because the nurses, social workers and volunteers of Visiting Nurse taught him what he needed to do to take care of her and to take care of himself.
“Sally passed away like everyone hopes for,” says Jon, “at home, surrounded by all of us, kissing her, telling her we loved her, and that’s because our hospice team had shown us how to do that.”