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Giving Back: Connie and Neil's Story

Neil didn’t want to make the call to hospice. He was concerned that his beloved wife Connie would feel he was giving up on her and the life she had left to live. But the complexity of her care was taking a toll.

Connie was suffering from ALS, which you may know as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. She started having trouble walking, then lost the use of her hands and soon was unable to speak.

Neil made the call. Soon our hospice care team arrived and Neil’s concerns began to subside. They helped with Connie’s care – medical, physical, emotional and spiritual – whatever she needed. Neil remembers how Connie’s face would
light up when she saw them. And how they made her laugh.

“They were really a big help and got to be family,” Neil says.

Connie’s care team encouraged her to get out of the house and live her life as much as possible. And when Connie’s mother in Indiana was nearing the end of her life, the BCN team contacted a hospice group there to coordinate care and make sure that Connie would have what she needed while visiting her mother.

It was a difficult journey and Connie’s doctors were concerned it might be too hard for her. But as Neil says, the care team “paved the way for us.”

“We pulled Connie’s wheelchair up beside her mom’s bed. They held hands and her mom passed away about an hour later,” Neil recalls.

Connie passed away earlier this year with Neil at her side.

“They were instrumental in keeping Connie home ‘til the end,” says Neil. “They made such an impression on me that I wanted to help them, too.”

Today, Neil is a volunteer for Bluegrass Care Navigators, Cynthiana region. And, as an Army Veteran, Neil is looking forward to when coronavirus restrictions can be lifted so he can help with the 11th-hour hospice program where he’ll sit at the bedside of fellow Veterans in their final hours.

Thank you, Neil. And thank you to all of you who support our mission. Thanks to you, our team is there to provide comfort, quality of life and peace of mind for our patients and their families as they face the end of their time together.

To support Bluegrass Care Navigators and their initiatives, go to www.bgcarenav.org/donate.

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