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Hospice Team Fulfills Patient's Heart's Desire by Bringing Book of Poems to Life

(Fay, after receiving her binder copy of the book.)

(Fay, after receiving her binder copy of the book.)

Heartland Hospice serving South Central Pennsylvania not only cares for patients at the end-of-life, but we also connect with our patients and their families. We accomplish this by listening to a patient’s life story which includes details about their families, looking through old photo albums or even fulfilling a last wish. Fay, a patient with Heartland Hospice, was recently granted her Heart’s Desire of compiling her poems into one book.

Diane Beck, account liaison, shares how Heartland was able to help bring the book of poems together for Fay and her family:

“I initially met with Debbie and her husband to provide education about our hospice care. Debbie was telling me about her mother, Fay, and how she loves to write. Fay has written poems, prayers, tributes and thoughts over the years and saved each of them in a box. Debbie mentioned that her mother’s handwriting became harder to read as she got older and she had difficulty reading some of the poems. During a family get-together, they were able take turns writing two lines of one of Fay’s poems and then had it framed for Fay to hang in her room at the assisted living facility where she is. Debbie then shared with me that she has been wanting to type each of her mother’s poems but just hasn’t had the time.

Eventually, Debbie and her family had agreed to begin hospice services for Fay. The next day, our social worker, Katie, visited with Fay. She told Katie that she loves to write and loves poetry. Since I knew about the box of poems at Debbie’s house, I reached out to Debbie and asked if she would like us to create a scrapbook for her and her family with all of Fay’s poems. Debbie was so excited that we offered to do this for her and her family.

I typed all the poems, prayers and thoughts and added a few pictures to each one before I printed the book. We put Fay’s book in a three-ring binder and her family received 22 copies that were printed in a spiral-bound notebook. Debbie and her family were beyond thankful for the book and due to social distancing, we ‘air-hugged’.

When I presented the book to Fay, I called Debbie and put her on speakerphone so she could hear her mother’s reaction to the book and hear how happy she was. I am so happy that I could be involved in this project. Fay and her family are very close, so it’s nice to know that I was able to help do something special for them, especially with something so important to Fay. It made it even more special to know that I helped make this happen just before the holidays. It is truly something I will never forget.”

(Debbie, Fay's daughter, displaying her copy of the book.)

(Debbie, Fay's daughter, displaying her copy of the book.)