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Patient Stories

Quality of Life Sometimes Means Getting a Second Chance

Manuel’s journey began years ago, after a series of bad breaks. He found himself homeless, without a job and in poor health. He lived along the riverbanks with his best friend Chunky (his terrier mix dog). Manuel’s mother, Eduarda, one day while looking for her son, she found him unresponsive with severe wounds to his legs. Doing what any mother would, she called for help, and he was transported to YRMC for medical assistance. At the hospital, he was diagnosed with acute kidney illness which led him to become septic. The wounds to his legs were so severe that doctors were thinking about possible amputation if he did not respond to treatment. He and his mother were given the option to begin dialysis, but once Manuel became stable, he refused dialysis and asked to be discharged. Worried about her son, Eduarda, asked doctors for other alternatives, to which they suggested hospice care. 

At the time of his hospice admission, Manuel was bed bound, he was not eating, he had unmanaged pain, his wounds were actively bleeding, and he had intermittent altered cognition. He was assigned to a team which included his Hospice Physician, Registered Nurse, Social Worker, and a Licensed Nursing Assistant. As his nurse, I began making daily visits with the focus of pain management and wound care. His social worker began paperwork to get him medical insurance and the nursing assistant visited daily to provide personal hygiene care and ensure that he had clean clothes, and clean bed linen. 

Manuel began to feel better; his pain was managed within a couple of days of his admission; his wounds stopped bleeding and slowly began to heal. He started to get an appetite and his cognitive status was restored. Manuel stated, “my hospice team helped me get better, if I had stayed at the hospital I probably wouldn’t be here, or I wouldn’t have my legs anymore”.  

“I thought that patients who went for hospice service were going to die, I never imagined that with the care and services I would get better and be discharged” Manuel says. “I was given a second chance on life. During the entire journey Eduarda remained by Manuel’s side. “The hospice team has helped my son so much. Thanks to the loving care he got, he is alive and doing well”. “I am so thankful for the donors that support Hospice of Yuma’s charitable care program. Thanks to their generosity and kindness, people like my son can get help”.  

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Patient's Last Wish Request

Here at Hospice of Yuma, we help our patients to the very end of their wonderful end-of-life journey. We have many patients who before their last breath of air they make one last wish request. May it be a food that reminds them of their childhood memory or a song that reminds them of their loved ones. Whatever it may be, we try our very best to make that wish come true. We had a unique request back in November of 2021. One of our patient's last dying requests was to drink an "Olympia Beer". We thought it was an easy request, we will stop by the grocery store, pick one up, and request accomplished. Well as you continue to read, it wasn't as easy as we thought. We went to several grocery stores, convenience stores, and yes, liquor stores to be told they didn't have any. Come to find out, we were told that "Olympia Beer" was no longer being made and it was discontinued in January of 2021 during the COVID pandemic. Now we are between a rock and a hard wall! what to do! what to do! We put on our thinking hats and upped our game. We needed to find just one can of "Olympia Beer", so we posted the request on Facebook. Low and behold, before we knew it, the story went viral. We were receiving calls from all around the U.S. There were news reporters calling our office trying to help spread the word through their news channels and local communities in hopes of finding someone out there to fill the patient’s one last request. People were calling saying they saw the post on “Facebook”, or that a friend of a friend shared the information, or that they saw it on the news or heard about it on the radio. It was wonderful to see how many people came together to help find a beer for a patient in hospice care. We even had the owners of the Olympia Beer company contact us in hopes of helping us find the one can of beer! If you are wondering, wonder no more we were able to find that one can of "Olympia Beer"! Mission accomplished!

We have had other patients with last requests such as a tamale during the off-season, or other food requests, but the Olympia Beer was a little bit harder to fulfill since the beer had been discontinued. We would like to thank everyone who helped search for this patient’s last request. People are truly amazing!

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