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Category Archives: Uncategorized

Love in Action

Hospice nursing is some of the hardest nursing there is. It takes courage, compassion and the ability to anticipate and address both medical, emotional and spiritual pain. Most of all, it takes love. Lots and lots of love. Hospice Austin RN Debbie Cooper exemplifies the qualities that make all of our nurses so special.

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Qualifying for Social Security Disability Benefits

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with a serious illness, the last thing on your mind should be financial strain. Fortunately, there may be resources available for you. The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers disability benefits for people in need, as well as their eligible dependents.

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Not just surviving, but thriving — thanks to Camp Brave Heart

I’m not sure if you know how important Hospice Austin’s Camp Brave Heart is to grieving kids and their families, but allow me to share with you a beneficiary’s point of view. For my family, the value of Camp Brave Heart was enormous. In August of 2015, my wife, Mara, died suddenly in the middle of the night. Our four kids were 8, 10, 12, and 14. We were shattered by her loss, but I swore to myself that I would raise the kids to be happy and to live fulfilling lives.

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Loving Kindness

When Hospice Austin Certified Nurse Aide Mudita Tuell cares for a patient, she takes her time. Her touch is gentle, her movements careful and measured, and her voice is soothing. Even if a patient is in a coma, she tells the patient exactly what she is going to do before she does it.

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Memorial Service for Emely and Adriana

As many of you know, Jacob Rodriguez Lopez’s wife, Adriana, died on our service in August and his 4-year-old daughter, Emely, was diagnosed with leukemia in December and then contracted the RSV virus and died in early January. Jacob and Emely were both featured in the Austin American-Statesman's Season for Caring campaign, and many of our Hospice Austin supporters donated money, gifts, cards, and well-wishes. There will be a memorial service this Saturday, Feb. 4th to celebrate the lives of both Emely and Adriana. Jacob would like it to be open to everyone in the community who has been so supportive of him. It will be held on Saturday, Feb. 4th at 2:00 pm at Palm Valley Lutheran Church, 2500 E. Palm Valley Blvd., Round Rock 78665.

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Season for Caring

Jacob knows more about heartache than any 26-year-old should. His wife, Adriana, died of cervical cancer in August, leaving him to raise Emely, their four-year-old daughter who has Down Syndrome. Last week, Emely was diagnosed with leukemia.

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Finding a Way Through

How do you get over losing a child? You don’t, according to grief therapist Jan Phillips. “You can get through it, but getting over it is impossible,” she said. Jan speaks from experience. Her 17-year-old son, Ian, was killed in an accident overseas while on a summer trip with People to People International. At first she was angry with the organization and its chaperones, then with God. “Why him, this child who had so much promise?” she wondered. “And why me?”

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Using All the Colors in the Crayon Box

This year will mark our 19th year of Camp Brave Heart, Hospice Austin’s four-day summer camp for children grieving the loss of someone they love. Over the years we have helped more than 2000 children in our community understand that grief and loss are a common human experience; that they have companions who will walk with them through that rugged landscape; and that they can survive such losses and perhaps even grow in unexpected and beautiful ways. A few years ago a boy named Sam came to camp who I will never forget.

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Doug and Sue’s Travel Adventures

When Doug was admitted to Hospice Austin a year ago, he was not expected to live long. His condition, while still serious, has improved so much that Hospice Austin happily discharged him recently. A few days ago, Doug embarked on a cross-country road trip with his wife, Sue, and his friend, Jim, in Jim's RV. Along for the ride is also Jim's dog, Chester who, by all accounts, is quite a character.

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Making life better for us all

Hospice Austin’s Christopher House volunteer Gretchen Baker has turned heartache into a passion for helping others near the end of life. Not only does she volunteer at Christopher House twice a week, she’s provided a Thanksgiving Day meal for patients and staff for the past 10 years, organizes an annual Valentine stuffed animal drive, donates prayer shawls from her friends, and does countless other services that let our patients and families know she understands what they’re going through. Here is her story, in her words.

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