In April of 2015, I received one of the most devestating calls that a daughter could get. The man who raised me from age 15, who took me in as his own when he married my mother, and the man I looked up to for worldly advice and guidance had a massive stroke. As a nurse of 12 years at that time, I was keenly aware of the implications of such a diagnosis. I was also aware that his prognosis was more than likely not a good one. A proud retired Air Force sergeant and farmer, would not be able to tend to his farm, provide for his family, or support his country again in the manner he had always done. He was one that always said, "just let me go if I cant do what I'm supposed to do!" After a week in the ICU, we knew he would never recover and we honored his wish to move to Hospice care. At that point it was important to provide him with the utmost dignity as possible and the way to do this was to have him at Hospice of Southern Ky. Here we could stay, visit, come and go, and have it as much like home as possible. The staff honored his room with the American Flag outside his door as a symbol of his service to his country. And to the side of the room, a view of the farm and the birds outside. Just a few weeks later he went on from this life. As we celebrated his life and mourned his passing, little did we know that in just a few months, the woman who had been married to for more than 20 years would fall ill to complications from her health. My mom suffered from several health issues, and while my dad was in the hospital and in Hospice, she did not manage her illnesses well. Shortly after her hospital stay on my birthday in June, just following his death in May, she was not able to go home alone. She came to live with us. We started therapy and a journey we thought would take her to her new norm. Never did I believe that in just a few weeks, I would lose her too. But, I had made her a promise. I promised her that if for any reason she were to ever grow ill to the point of no return, I too would make the same choice she did, and place her at the Hospice House where her husband had been. Her only other request was to be near his room. A hardworking mother who once worked in a grocery store for $20/day, made hand stitched quilts at night, took me fishing after school every day, and farmed along side my dad, was losing her life here on earth as well. On the morning of July 5th, I returned home from working a 12 hour shift in the emergency room to find her weak to the point she couldnt walk. A trip to the ER in just a few minutes would prove to be our last. She too had developed a complication from her illness and one that could not be repaired, and if we tried could result in death. We were admitted to the hospital for tests and found that there was nothing we could do. She began to deteriorate very quickly. In less than 48 hours I made the call to Hospice of Southern KY. In 2 hours they came to evaluate. In 2 hours my mom was in the hospice house and placed in their only available room which was across from my dads old room. She was facing a window where the cattle were grazing in the back which was fitting for her. In 2 hours a storm came through the area and she left the earth right as the storm had passed. Two parents, two lives, multiple people affected in such a short period of time. But one thing stayed the same, and that was the care they recieved from the staff! During two of the most devastating times in our lives, Hospice of Southern Ky staff and providers provided my parents the dignity to pass from this earth and us the comfort of knowing they were not alone nor did they suffer. Never were we in question of anything, turned down when we wanted to come in at night, stay when there were no seats left...... Today a memorial stone is outside in the garden with their names on it. I can never say enough about the services they provide. In the end it was all about the comfort. As a daughter, mother, sister, nurse...... I am at peace, and the Hospice staff played a huge part in that. Rachel
I was involved with HSK in several ways over many years, the most important of which was as a referring physician. Severe or terminal illness is arguably the most difficult challenge for each of us to experience or to witness in a loved one. Making such a period of time less distressing and perhaps even meaningful to the patient and their loved ones is no small challenge and success is certainly not guaranteed. However, the skillful staff of HSK offered useful, many times critical, feedback regarding the status of patients and their loved ones, from initial evaluation to bereavement. I could trust the feedback I got from the staff whether I was told things were going well or an urgent problem had occurred which needed immediate attention or perhaps even a home visit. As an oncologist, it would have been impossible to deliver optimal care to many of my patients without the services of this organization.
Thank you for working alongside us all these years. Proper teamwork ensures excellence when it comes to caring for patients!
My mother had Alzheimer’s and spent the last 5 days of her life at Hospice House of Southern KY. Due to COVID, we were unable to see her the last 9 weeks before she died until she was moved to Hospice. The staff was compassionate, kind, and caring. They kept my mother as comfortable as possible during her last days and kept the family updated on her status. Having Hospice, we were able to spend the last days with her which gave us peace.
Thank you for sharing your story and entrusting us with the care of your mother. It was an honor to serve your family.