J. Kevin Ahern, MD, FAAHPM, HMDC, of Dayton, Ohio, recently earned the designation Fellow of…
By Deborah Jorgenson
Patient Services Coordination/Transportation Coordinator
In 2007, my mother, who had lived with us for 17 years, was coming to the end of her battle with breast cancer. She made the decision, with the help of her doctor, to call in added support from Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton. You see, at the time, I was working full time, raising 2 teen aged daughters, working 2 part time jobs and going to school full time. All of this while caring full time for mom’s needs with the help of my husband and daughters.
As soon as Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton came in, a weight was lifted off of our shoulders. We knew that the amazing nurses and aides would be there to care for mom and support our family during her final days. Mom looked forward to the visits; they were comforting to her, because she knew that there was going to be someone checking on her and, more importantly to her, making sure her family was okay. Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton provided peace of mind.
Mom was in the compassionate hands of Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton for just over a month when she passed a few days after Christmas. Shortly after she passed, I began my path into healthcare. I had been laid off from my job at our local school just nine days before mom’s passing.
It was fate.
From then on, I hoped to be a part of the work at Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton and am grateful that now, I am. I have seen the work of the remarkable staff from both perspectives; as a vulnerable family member, and now, a member of the hospice team. I know when families or patients call, they may be emotionally and physically overwhelmed and need compassion, patience, and genuine care – I’ve been there. I feel privileged to be a part of a team that can comfort patients during this time with respect, dignity and self-directed end-of-life care.
We never know how we touch the lives of the people we encounter each day and we never know how they will touch ours. I hope that I can touch the hearts of the families and patients I talk to in a way that makes them feel cared for, comforted, and understood. Because, that is our mission at Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton and why I am grateful to say: I am Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton.