"This is a letter to thank you for all of your help in my time of need, and to tell you that my life is looking better each and every day.  I am keeping your telephone number handy just in case I might need a kind word, but I think that all of my friends along with my children are there just to get me through most of the relapses. Thank again for being there and may God bless you for what you are doing to help so many."

“Thank you for your excellent help.  I could not have made it without you and your staff.” 

“God puts angels on earth.  Thank you for being beautiful angels.”

“Thank you for all of your help and support with our father.” 

“Thank you so very much for your care. We so appreciated everything you did for our mom.  She is free now…no more suffering.  God bless you and the work of your hands and your heart.  Please pass on our appreciation to those who contributed to her care.” 

“Thank you to each and every person that touched our lives this past year.  I find myself thinking of you often.  I am sure that I will be in touch for some help.  It just isn’t time yet.  Thank you again.” 

“The hospice social worker was wonderful in working with our family and explaining our options.  The nurse’s aide was excellent, very caring and compassionate.”

“The peace of mind that Mom had because she could come home has been shared with us, as we were able to do what she wanted.  Words cannot express the gratitude we have for our hospice team.  Thank you.  Your nurse was an intelligent, compassionate person that helped us all so much.” 

“I would like to thank the minister who came to be with my family after my father died.  Keep up the good work.  I would tell anyone not to be afraid about hospice and it is a good idea to talk to them.”

“Wonderful caring people, if my mom could have, she would have thanked you.”

“The team could not have been more helpful at a greatly emotional time.  I want to thank them very much.”

“I am very thankful for the care provided, it made his last days more comfortable.  I really admire those who work in the hospice program.”

“You have a wonderful staff of people working for you.  Our family was very fortunate to have such a knowledgeable and caring group of people handling so many things for us….our sincerest thanks.” 

“The hospice team gave me membership and full partner status in the care of the patient.  All of my concerns were immediately addressed, all questions answered and the nurses were always available.  This was a very rewarding experience for me, especially in view of the outcome.  Thank you.”

“Our family felt very fortunate to have the hospice care that we did for my mother.  Thank you very much for a job well done.  They went above and beyond our expectations.”

“The team who interacted with my dad were exceptional in providing personal, social and spiritual needs.  Their individualized, personalized care and support was genuine and consistent.  On behalf of my family, I thank the caring staff at Seasons Hospice for the services rendered during my dad’s life and for the spiritual support and guidance following his transition.”

“My son and I appreciate very much that Seasons Hospice accepted my husband under their care, and that the flexibility with their policies helped us deal with what was to come.  My husband went home with the pain pump and IV.  Though I knew what to expect, the thought of disconnecting everything made me want to faint.  Thank you for thinking of our needs.  I would like to thank the whole team for their caring attitude and professionalism.  The social worker helped me a lot with the decision making and the nurses were wonderful.  Thank you so very much for the bereavement counselors also.  They are perfectly suited for the work that they do.  They were non-judgmental and always showed interest even with all of my rantings, cries and talks.  They spent as much time as I needed and I am so grateful for that.  The bereavement staff helped me to see things in a different spectrum.  Seasons Hospice is lucky to have those special people on their team.”

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Caregiver Shares Her Big Hospice Heart

Ray Weigand had planned on attending the Strike at Cancer Foundation fundraiser that his family planned in Chicago in March 2012, but he was there in spirit to honor someone special to him. Ray had never thought of himself as dying since his September 2011 admission onto hospice services; he signed the paper work and insisted he would never be the “typical patient.”

Kelly Huffman, RN burst into the lives of the Weigand family one Sunday evening. She understood Ray right from the beginning and made him and his family feel as though they were her only patient case. Kelly took to his flirtatious ways and met him head on, matching him jab for jab and sarcasm with sarcasm.  She repeatedly reminded Ray, with their shared sarcasm, that it would make her look bad if he fell just one more time.

Kelly has been a nurse for eight years, with five of those years in hospice. Her colleagues say that if you spend a few minutes with Kelly, you can see that hospice is where she belongs. Previously working as a health care consultant, she went back to school to complete her nursing degree because she longed to go back to hands-on patient care.   Her big smile and even bigger eyes instantly give a sense of reassurance, comfort and a genuine sense of compassion.  The majority of Kelly’s patients are often done battling cancer and have transitioned to the last months and weeks of their lives but Kelly never focuses on that. Instead, she empowers patients to remain in control, insists that they be treated with dignity, and comforts them with compassion and a gentle touch every step of the way. 

Kelly gave Ray so much in the short time that she knew him, but you would have thought by the way they were connected that they were life-long friends. People would walk into Ray’s room, and with his look of disappointment, he would say, “Oh, I thought you were Kelly.”

The family could not have made it without Kelly during the last week of Ray’s life. She insisted on comfort and took control of the situation when she knew Ray’s family just couldn’t do it anymore. Kelly rode with him in the ambulance to the inpatient hospice unit to ensure he would make the trip and be comfortable during the ride. Seasons Hospice’s Director of Supportive Care, Melody Stried (Ray’s daughter) believed Kelly did that because they had worked together and had grown to be friends. Fortunately, it wasn’t that. This is what Kelly does for every patient and family she touches.

Kelly Huffman, RN was presented with the Caregiver of the Year award at the fundraiser Ray had planned to attend, for her outstanding service and commitment to her patients and families. Ray passed away on Seasons Hospice’s services on January 27, 2012.

For more information on Seasons Hospice & Palliative Care services, please call (800) 570-8809

Huffman and her award, a championship belt with patient Ray's photo on the back.