A Patient's Story

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One of our clients tells us what it was like to have BJC Hospice provide end-of-life care for her mother.

There is no way I could possibly express the gratitude in my heart for each of you. I will forever cherish every act of kindness shown to my mom and our family. Each of you, from the dynamic duo (Debbie and Angela) to the sweet lady who answers the phone has blessed my heart.

I’d like to share some of my favorite memories, in the hopes that you will be able to get some glimmer of the blessings you’ve bestowed on us.

Debbie (registered nurse), you have no idea how much your openness touched my mom. You allowed her into your heart, and made her family. You made her comfortable with humor, little gifts, honesty and openness. Mom always loved real relationships… true friends… and you were one to her. You were always there for me as well, with no question too silly or too hard.

Angela (registered nurse), I will never forget a visit when you hadn’t seen Momma in a few weeks. I could tell by your face that the changes you saw in her were dramatic since the last time you’d seen her, and it broke your heart. You climbed right up into bed with Momma, and kissed her face and hands so tenderly, so lovingly. I could see the love in your face and how much you truly cherished her. You touched my heart so deeply.

Lori (massage therapist), it took Mom so long to get comfortable with the idea of massage, but once YOU came on the scene that became the new standard of care! Your healing touch really made a huge difference in Mom. From the moment you walked through her bedroom door, there was this spirit of peace and tranquility. I could tell you treasured Mom, and truly desired to take her pain away.

Susan (chaplain), God’s holy spirit shines so brightly through you. You explained how everyone’s profession of faith is different. When you started singing Mom’s favorite hymns to her, you really got on the highway right to her heart. That was her praise and worship language, and you flung the gates wide! I feel that you were the angel that escorted Momma into heaven. God is using you in a MIGHTY way.

Katy (social worker), I don’t think mom ever really understood what a social worker is. You were so good at doing your job that she never knew you were doing it. You allowed me to vent and say really nasty things about how I felt and still loved me. Now, that’s a gift.

Madonna (registered nurse), you always shot it straight, and I appreciate that. You were so very respectful of Mom, even though she was hardly responding. You helped me see that it was alright not to be able to lift her anymore. That sounds silly, but you have no idea how much I wanted to be able to do it all for Mom.

Karen (registered nurse), I know that if you hadn’t come the night before Mom died to help me, I would have gone mad. When you entered her room, it was very clear that you cared very much. You were very factual, and very in control. You showed us what we could do for Mom, and how to do it. You also talked to us like “real people” and took the anxiety factor way down.

LaFonda (certified nursing assistant), I know you came to help Mom, but I think you helped me just as much. You were so generous with tips on how to move Mom. It sounded so simple when you said to move the walker to her, not her to the walker! You never made fun of my ineptitude. Then, during the last visit, you were so tender to her. Thank you so much.

Eileen (volunteer coordinator), thank you so much for moving heaven and earth to find volunteers to help so we could go to our granddaughter’s Christmas musical and to church. I know it was a challenge, and you did it truly joyfully.

JoAnne (volunteer), thank you for coming to sit with mom. She slept through your whole visit, but she would have loved you. I so appreciate our phone conversations. You’re a blessing.

Pam (volunteer), you have no idea how God used you when Mom died. You called because you’d received an e-mail that mom was “transitioning.” I was hitting the wall big time when you called, but then you said the words that echo in my head to this day. You told me that from your years of being an oncology nurse you felt confident that God lifts people out of what their body is going through at the end. I had to admit that she never seemed distraught, but it looked so terrible. Your words helped me deal with the memories of her last night.

In closing, each and every one of you have a specific gift, and God has chosen to bring you all together to work as a body. I truly consider all of you family.

With love always,
Mary Ann
(Fay’s daughter)