Kelly Smith, hospice quality coordinator in Missouri, Michigan, and Illinois, was recently on the receiving end of hospice services. Her 85-year-old mother-in-law fell in December and fractured her hip. She was unable to continue chemotherapy treatment for stage 4 colon cancer which was in remission. Her cancer returned, and in her frail condition treatment was no longer an option. Since she was over three hours away from her son and Kelly, they decided that they would eventually need to move her closer to them. Pain and anxiety were becoming an issue, and she needed hospice to start immediately, not after they transported her to another state.

Kelly felt helpless with the situation (she is also a veteran hospice nurse), so she decided to call Angie Bradford, executive director at Hospice of North Arkansas in Springdale, Ark., to see if she could help. Angie’s office was the closest to the nursing home where her mother-in-law lived. Angie took her on as her own patient and went to see her every day to get her comfortable and stabilized. She also kept Kelly updated every step of the way. The family said they felt like she was Angie’s only patient. When Kelly arrived to pick her up, Angie was there to see them off. She made sure she had medication for the ride and assisted the nursing home staff in getting her settled in the car for the long trip.

Kelly said she now has a much better understanding of being on the “other side” of hospice. Angie’s excellent care and compassion allowed Kelly to be a family member with her mother-in-law, not a hospice nurse. Thanks to Angie, for making a difference!