Some people have the impression that Calvert Hospice primarily cares for elderly patients who are living out their final days. In our recent year-end appeal, we relayed the story of a healthy Air Force Colonel at the height of his career, enjoying all that life has to offer with his beautiful wife and two young daughters. One day their world was turned upside down with a single devastating diagnosis. After suffering a grand mal seizure, Dave was told he had an aggressive form of brain cancer.
An important part of what we do is to help families, like Dave and his wife, Ali, in helping to cope with their “new normal.” Having a volunteer and the hospice aides available to stay with Dave allowed Ali to taxi their daughters to cheerleading and gymnastic practice, attend their games and competitions, and keep up with all that goes with raising kids and running a household. All the while Ali was managing her own business, which she had moved into the basement of their house so she could care for Dave while her employees kept production up and running.
Hospice care gave Dave’s family the peace of mind that his pain and symptom management kept him comfortable. Dave’s hospice nurse kept Ali apprised as to what to expect as Dave grew weaker. Having this knowledge helped her in preparing their children for the inevitable. Ali and the girls had met with one of our counselors during Dave’s last weeks. We provide bereavement services not only for our patient services, but for any Calvert County resident in need of grief support. We have specialty programs not only for children and teens, but for those who are struggling with the loss of a spouse.
Your most generous year-end gift can have a deep and immediate impact on our ability to care for families right here in our community, young and old alike. When you make a donation to Calvert Hospice you are not only helping us provide quality end-of-life care for our patients, you are ensuring that their families will have the professional support they need as they face the challenges that lie ahead.
Losing Dave just before Thanksgiving was especially heartbreaking. With this year’s holiday season upon us, Ali is focused on creating new traditions so the girls can look forward to making memories for the future, while holding the past close and soften the void in their hearts.