"My nana, Doris, was not only a kindhearted, a devoted person - she was tough as nails. She endured an extremely difficult life, but she navigated through with grace and humor. If you weren't one step ahead of her, she was about to 'get you' with a good-natured prank. And as much as she loved to laugh, she loved to love people even more. My nana welcomed every person with open arms, sweet tea and a Little Debbie treat. She loved and treated everyone just the same, whether they were homeless or the CEO of a huge corporation, words of affirmation and a little reminder that Jesus loves us. She didn't care what anyone thought, she knew the human touch was healing, and she was determined to heal you with a back scratch.
Without Heartland Hospice, my family and I truly believe my nana's last days would have been vastly different. Heartland Hospice seemed to be hand-wrapped, tied with a bow, and presented to us by God. Their admission nurse, Ally, stayed with my aunt for hours at the hospital to determine if my nana could be safely transported from the hospital to her skilled nursing facility. Heartland's nurses monitored her, staved off exacerbations and were present when my nana needed quick medical attention. The facility was so impressed at the difference between my nana needed quick medical attention. The facility was so impressed at the difference between my nana receiving hospice vs. without the service. My nana was comfortable and calmer. My nana was able to do her favorite thing one last time - meet new friends. The very ones who had been taking care of her in the previous weeks. She was able to create a few new memories and make a lot of people laugh. Most importantly, she was able to verbalize that she would actually like to transition to her heavenly home from her earthly home. The nurse made sure we had everything we needed and knew exactly what to do for my nana. The peace of mind that Heartland offered was the most valuable gift I've been given in my entire adult life.
Thanks to Heartland Hospice's persistent and present team, we were all made aware early the following day that we should gather to say our goodbyes. As members of our family trickled in the following hours to say their goodbyes, Heartland's nurses took care of us just as much as they took care of my grandmother. My nana passed peacefully on June 15th surrounded by love - from both my family and Heartland Hospice. Heartland made the following hours, days and now months seamless and peaceful. I cannot thank Heartland's team enough for the time they dedicated to not just my nana, but to me and my family. At my nana's funeral, I looked up and saw five faces from the Heartland team beaming at my with the sentiment, 'We have got your back,' and my heart melted. I felt pure, unconditional and unwavering love my from nana for 35 years. The kind of love you can count on and know is always going to be there. I felt that same kind of pure love from Heartland Hospice that day. And months later, they're still here for us."