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Category Archives: Uncategorized

Pet Therapy

Several years ago, a patient was readmitted to Hospice Austin’s Christopher House late on a Friday afternoon. When he had been there before, he’d met Hospice Austin volunteer Rusty and her therapy dog, Faraday, a loving one-eyed white lab. As soon as this patient was wheeled into Christopher House on a gurney – before he even got to his room – he was asking for Faraday: “Where’s the dog? I need to see the dog.” Hospice Austin’s volunteer coordinator ran to call Rusty who immediately said, “I’m on my way.” She and Faraday drove across town and the patient was able to spend time with Faraday. He died two hours later.

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Camp Erin Central Texas

Rachel* lost her brother in an accident. Sandra lost her stepfather to suicide. Marty’s mom died of cancer and a few weeks later, his father died from complications of a heart attack. These are just some of the stories of the kids who attended Camp Erin Central Texas.

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Honoring Madelyn’s Wish

In February 2017, 16-year-old Madelyn Shoales was diagnosed with a rare type of brain cancer. She underwent surgery to remove the tumor, followed by six weeks of radiation. One year later, when it became apparent that Madelyn would not survive her courageous battle, her last wish was to die at home. Her parents, Suzannah and Jason Shoales, and her Hospice Austin pediatric care team were determined to do everything they could to honor her wish. Bethany Miller was Madelyn’s RN case manager.

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Two Lives, Transformed

The Austin-American Statesman’s Season for Caring campaign has made a profound difference in the lives of our past two recipients. As you may remember, our 48-year-old ALS patient Marcelo Gracia and his son, Gael, were featured in the Austin American-Statesman’s Season for Caring campaign in December.

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Loving Spirits

Stacy Pruitt became a certified nurse aide after witnessing the subpar care her grandmother received from a nursing home in her small town. Suzanne Armistead became a CNA after seeing the excellent care her brother received. Andrew Stratman became a CNA after visiting his grandmother in a nursing home several times a day for about a year. “It was never a chore for me to help her,” he said. “I felt privileged to do it. It made me realize I have an aptitude.”

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She was sitting propped up in bed in one of the sun-filled corner rooms at Hospice Austin's Christopher House.  I saw that she had thick, dark hair with a few streaks of silver through it, noticeable because so often our patients have little or no hair after undergoing chemotherapy. 

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The Beauty and the Mystery

Hospice Austin social workers are on the emotional front lines for patients and families coming to the end of life’s journey. They help families heal fractured relationships, plan funerals, access social support services, normalize symptoms, and give voice to their sadness and fear. They provide a calming presence by holding space and offering support for the social and emotional issues that arise during this agonizing time. They help patients and families build on their own emotional strength.

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Patients who need all the help they can get.

Every month or so, I am able to tell someone who is sick, dying, can’t work, and has no insurance that they now have comprehensive care completely free to them through Hospice Austin.

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Why I volunteer at Hospice Austin’s Christopher House

I volunteer at Hospice Austin's Christopher House because of the generosity and compassion that transcends throughout the building with patient care, professional friendly staff and the great family feeling of love to all that enters the building (young or old). I have seen babies in cribs there. My most memorable story was the first year I volunteered on Thanksgiving Day at Christopher House and witnessed for myself the love and joy that was given through food and fellowship to the patients and their families.

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Plain and simple, we could not provide the services we do without the support of the Central Texas community. In 2017, thanks to you: ♥     Hospice Austin helped a total of 2,081 patients live their final months with comfort, dignity, and peace, providing more than 100,000 days of patient care. ♥     We served […]

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