When the Heartland Hospice serving Southeastern Wisconsin care team noticed their patient, Chris, wasn’t acting like his usual self, they wanted to do something memorable to cheer him up.
Bethany Wilker, music therapist, recently had a visit with Chris and learned that he is a huge Elvis fan. This sparked an idea among the team on what they could do to lift Chris’ spirits. Emilee High, care transition coordinator, reached out to the community’s well-known Elvis impersonator, Alan Graveen, and asked if he would do a surprise private performance for their patient. Alan, owner of ‘The Strictly Elvis Show’, did not hesitate to help Heartland and offered to visit the following week.
The look on Chris’ face was priceless when he saw Elvis (Alan) and his Heartland care team at the door. After he got over the initial shock, Chris smiled, cried tears of joy and sang and danced along throughout Elvis’ performance. During the visit, Chris shared that his love of all things Elvis isn’t just music-related. He also used to be an Elvis impersonator when he was younger! He was eager to bring out his old photos to show everyone when he performed as ‘The King’. Chris also served as the DJ at social events put on by the Association for the Rights of Citizens with Handicaps, where he was recognized for his 25 years of services.
When the day was over, Alan gave Chris an autographed silk scarf, a teddy bear, Hawaiian lei, wooden cross necklace and encouraging words – all of which hold a special significance among true Elvis fans. The Heartland care team knew they achieved their mission after seeing the sparkle back in Chris’ eyes. This was an unforgettable moment for everyone!