Hospice Helped these Florida Parents Let Go
In recent posts, we’ve talked about why the average length of stay in hospice care is falling and how common misconceptions about hospice care prevent many patients and their families from receiving all the benefits it offers. We recently came across a local news story out of Florida that illustrated these issues in a very personal way.
A Daughter’s Struggle with Cancer
In 2014, Jeff and Lisa Amato learned that their daughter Kate had stage 4 cancer. After her diagnosis, doctors said Kate could enter hospice right away, but Jeff and Lisa resisted. Because in their minds, “it was quitting when they wanted to fight.” So instead Kate went through treatment for over two years, but nothing worked and her health was rapidly declining. Jeff and Lisa knew their daughter was dying but neither was ready to accept it. Ultimately, it was their daughter who turned them around:
In November 2016, Jeff and Lisa were getting ready to take Kate back to the hospital.
“I said ‘Daddy and I just talked, I think we should take you to the hospital, we’re worried,'” Lisa said. “And [Kate] started crying. And begging. And pleading. ‘No mommy, don’t take me back. I’m done, don’t take me back.'”
The Amatos immediately called a local hospice provider that specialized in pediatric cases.
Hospice Care Made the Difference
The hospice team mobilized and got to work making Kate comfortable and preparing the rest of the family for Kate’s death. Kate’s mother described this transition by saying, “it was like someone turning on a light in a dark room.” Kate died two days later but both Jeff and Lisa agree, they wish they’d call hospice earlier because they care they received helped make a terrible situation so much better. Jeff described it this way:
“I think there’s an association with hospice that you’re throwing in the towel,” Jeff said. “And that’s all they do is end of life services. And there’s so much more that they do that we could have taken advantage.”
These are Common Themes
Unfortunately, we hear these stories every day. Too many people believe that this care is brink-of-death care, so they delay calling much longer than they should.
In reality, hospice is quality-of-life care. We treat individuals with life-limiting illnesses so they can be more comfortable, more alert, and more engaged during their final moments. And, we also provide critical support for family members so that they can manage these difficult transitions more successfully.
Call Today. We’re Happy to Answer Your Questions.
If you’re living in the Phoenix area and believe you or someone you love might benefit from hospice care, we’d love to chat. You can call Southland Hospice at (602) 497-4100 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Our care teams are the solid rocks patients and their families stand on during terrible storms of crisis. There’s no reason to delay such an important resource.