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Patsy and Frederick’s New Couch

18 Dec 2017, Posted by Seasons in Community

Hospice care isn’t about just caring for our patient; it is also about caring for each individual family member who is part of our patient’s life.

Often, it means we have to find creative solutions to challenges that we see and our staff lets no barriers stop them. Recently, we had a beautiful example of this in Houston.  

Those who live or have recently been to Houston know that thousands of people are still recovering from the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey, including some of our patients and staff members. Initially, it was a challenge even making it out to our patient’s homes but our staff always made it work.  

During this chaos, we met Frederick.  

Upon her first visit with Frederick, Houston social worker Libbie noticed Frederick’s family was struggling.  

Frederick lived with his granddaughter Patsy, who was also his primary caregiver. Libbie admired the strength of Patsy, who not only was taking care of Frederick, but also her three children, one of whom has special medical needs. Making matters even more tough, this young woman was also the primary breadwinner for the family. Because of demands of caring for her family, Patsy was only able to take odd jobs, and with no consistent income, money was tight! At the time we met her, Patsy was driving three hours south, one way, to make some money doing debris removal in areas damaged by Hurricane Harvey.  

After making regular visits with the family Libbie noticed something odd about the family’s home one day. The living room, which previously had furniture was now almost completely bare except for two chairs: a folding metal chair and the wheelchair that Frederick would sit on. The family told Libbie they’d opened their home to a visitor, one who unfortunately brought bed bugs with them. So the family had to throw all of their living room furniture out.  

Libbie sent out an email to our staff asking if anyone had connections with a local furniture store and sadly, no one did. But within minutes of sending the email, we had 5-6 team members offering up their own furniture sets. A family who had nothing was now able to choose which furniture would best suit their needs! 

Frederick’s family ultimately decided on a set including a couch, loveseat, and a lounge chair, offered by our nurse, Evelyn.  

A few days later, our Houston Director of Business Development, Dana, drove to nurse Evelyn’s house in Katy and with the help of Libbie, loaded the furniture into a truck provided by our volunteer Paul. He willingly and gladly gave up his Friday morning to make the 190-mile round-trip journey to get it to the family in Fresno, TX.  

Patsy was home when we made the donation, and she and the whole family were grinning from ear to ear. It was such a wonderful experience to see how one person’s generosity provided so much joy to this sweet family.  

We are so thankful that our staff doesn’t let “no” stop them; that they are always looking for a way to solve a problem even when the answer seems impossible. Thank you, Team Houston!