In home Hospice Care was a plan that John Wescott knew he and his wife Judy would one day put into action. In July, Judy was diagnosed with brain cancer and given at most just three months to live.
"She said I don't want to die in a nursing home, so I said as soon as you can get up so I can transfer you from the bed to the chair and the chair to the car, I said you're going home." Said Wescott.
It was the Wescott's wish to be able to spend the last days and weeks together in the home where Judy grew up. John knew he needed help and he got it from hospice nurse Peg Stratman.
"You do everything they can to help them achieve what they want to do and make that final journey happen the way they want it to." Said Stratman.
"Whatever she wanted, she got." Said Wescott.
On September 30th, Judy passed away. She and John were just one month shy of their 42 wedding anniversary.
"She was kind, if you needed something she'd give you the shirt off her back, but you better not lie to her, because if you did you ain't getting nothing and that's the way she was." Said Wescott.
"Judy always had a warm smile and a hug for us, always! She always gave us a hug." Said Stratman.
Hospice care is just one of the programs offered by Avera Sacred Heart. In addition to nurses, hospice has counselors on staff as well as chaplains to make sure mind, body, and soul are ready for those final moments.
"I had to have them otherwise I'd have been lost, I would never have been able to keep her here at the house." Said Wescott.
The hospice nurses not only cared for Judy but made sure John was being looked after as well.
"I had people here all the time working with me, watching me, making sure I wasn't getting sick or anything, I had kids, grand kids and neighbors, and even Peg." Said Wescott.
Hospice care can be a difficult choice but peg says, every patient that does choose hospice, chooses it simply to come home, one last time.
"It's everything, it's everything for them to be home, and to be surrounded by family and loved ones and their things that mean the most to them. It's where they're most comfortable and they're most at peace which is important to anyone facing a terminal illness." Said Stratman.
It's never easy saying goodbye to a loved one, but for John he has found peace in knowing that thanks to hospice care his lovely Judy got exactly what she wanted.
John says his wife always took care of him and hospice was one way he could help pay her back. For more information about hospice care just call 877-AT-AVERA.