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Sherry's Last Wish

  • Category: News
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  • Written By: Baxter Regional Medical Center
Sherry's Last Wish

November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month. Hospice of the Ozarks has been providing end-of-life care since 1979 in Baxter and Marion County. Not everyone is aware of Hospice of the Ozarks and the many services they provide, so here is a story of what hospice and palliative (comfort) care meant in the end-of-life journey for one of the patients and families Hospice of the Ozarks was recently privileged to serve.

After hearing of one of her patient's love of the Christmas season, Christina Stone, Nursing Assistant at Hospice of the Ozarks, set out to create some Christmas magic for her patient, Sherry McGoldrick. With permission from Sherry, Christina sent a letter out to the Hospice of the Ozarks staff and volunteers asking for help to decorate Sherry’s home for Christmas a bit early. Although Christmas was only two months away, Christina knew that Sherry might not have that much time.

In the late afternoon on Wednesday, October 28, cars lined the street on both sides of Sherry's home as family, friends and caring hearts arrived to decorate and celebrate the Christmas season. A canoe with Mickey and Minnie sailing away in the blue sea of lights covered the front lawn. A six foot tree in the family room was decorated to the hilt by busy little elves working together. Her home was adorned with wreaths, lights and decorations on every available surface. The dining room table was overflowing with finger foods, holiday cookies and desserts of every kind. The spirit of Christmas filled her home as Sherry celebrated Christmas with those she loved.

Later that evening, Sherry left her home for the last time for what would become her new home for the final few days of her life, Hospice of the Ozarksand#39; Hospice House. Lori Stanton, Social Worker and Volunteer Coordinator for Hospice of the Ozarks, said it best, ”I think celebrating Christmas early with Sherry is just a reminder to us all that we need to celebrate life’s occasions as we feel it is needed, rather than by a date on a calendar. If we had waited to celebrate Christmas with Sherry on December 25th, we would have missed out on a wonderful afternoon with an amazing lady.”

Sherry entered into eternal rest on Monday, November 9th; however, she wanted everyone to know how much she appreciated all that Christina and the caring staff and volunteers at Hospice of the Ozarks did for her and her family and friends during her end-of-life journey.

Pictured: Caregivers and friends that helped Sherry celebrate her last Christmas include Tammy Moore, CNA; Christina Stone, Nursing Assistant; Aleta Newberry, BRMC Education Coordinator; Amy McGoldrick, Sherryand#39;s sister-in-law; Cindy Davenport, RN, retired.

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