A Sanctuary for Families in Need
Since its opening in 1984, the Dr. Richard Nau Hospice Care Center in Longview has acted as a sanctuary for families and their ailing loved ones, providing a helping hand when hospice care at home becomes too much or too little. For Cheryl Poppe and her family, the hospice care center was a saving grace when her husband, Dave, was diagnosed with Stage 4 Renal Cell Carcinoma a short week following their retirement.
Despite Dave’s unrelenting spirit and strength, his fight with cancer was a losing one. The cancer that had spread to his brain kept him miserable and restless, and it caused Cheryl, her oldest son, Matt, and her grandson, Nate, to lose sleep trying to care for him. It only took a couple days before Matt came to the realization that they needed help.
“Mom, we can’t do this anymore,” he shared with Cheryl. “We’re hurting Dad, not helping him.”
Cheryl turned to Community Home Health & Hospice, and within hours Dave was transferred to the Dr. Nau Hospice Care Center. When she and her family visited later that evening, they were shocked to see how peaceful and comfortable Dave was, a stark contrast to his condition at home.
It gave the Poppe family an opportunity to focus on building memories during those precious final days, such as Dave’s silent call for a kiss from Cheryl with a pucker of his lips, or Kristi, their daughter-in-law, sharing her gratitude with Dave for raising “such a wonderful son.”
Cheryl shared one of their fondest memories, saying, “It was when we were all in the room surrounding his bed, talking and sharing our love for him when he opened his eyes, looked at each of us and said, ‘Holy Moly, everyone is here!’”
Memories were built with the care center staff, too. Grandson Nate had personally gone around and thanked each hospice caretaker separately for taking such great care of his “Papa.”
“My family and I will be forever grateful to (Community) and the love and care they took of Dave, our beloved husband, Dad and Papa,” said Cheryl. “Although losing a loved one is never easy, the relief of not being responsible for Dave’s end-of-life care, being able to join together as a family, and knowing every one of his needs were being taken care of with so much love and respect by each caretaker that entered his room, made a huge difference in our lives!”
She can’t imagine how hard it would be for those without a hospice care center in their community. It provided her family the chance to heal and come together in a peaceful space, a space that has not been significantly updated for decades. We are working towards remodeling the current facility, bringing it into the modern era of healthcare, so families like Cheryl’s can have a resource to depend on when their lives have been uprooted. This includes plans to increase patient room size by 46%, open up and modernize the family room, add a children’s area and Multi-Faith Chapel, and provide the latest in infection control through added anterooms and negative pressure rooms.
To date, we have raised $2,052,000 of a $4.2 million goal. Can you help? Please consider joining us in this investment for the Southwest Washington community. Donate at www.chhh.org/capital-campaign or call us at 360.597.0717.