Harold and Delia Hays were given 15 bonus years together following Harold’s cancer diagnosis. They shared special moments, holidays and lots of laughter as their family continued to grow. Although he struggled with illness, his quiet strength and sense of humor prevailed.
When those years had passed and the days grew short, Dr. Angie Lee, Hospitalist, recommended Harold go home with his wife and the care of Reid Hospice. The hospice team, comprised of nurses, volunteers and a chaplain, visited the Hays home over the next three months. “I didn’t expect them to be so involved,” Delia said. “They did everything.” The Hays family appreciated how comfortable Harold remained, knowing he was not in pain. They managed his medications, which allowed Delia to simply be there for him.
“Dad appreciated that someone was here to help,” said Harold’s daughter, Karolyn. “He was worried about Mom.” Because Karolyn and her husband, Dick, lived in Indianapolis, it was not always easy to be available. “I called the hospice volunteer, and she would be right over to talk with Mom.”
The hospice team prepared the family for each step through the process. “They provided professional guidance blended with personal engagement in not only the mourning process, but the celebratory process as well,” Dick said. “They did a marvelous thing by always being there when needed, but not being in the way.” Those three months allowed the volunteers to become part of the family, laughing and teasing with Harold, who was known to be somewhat mischievous.
Chaplain David Garman appreciated the opportunity to get to know the family and was available for them as needed. “Delia is a nice combination of sweet and tough,” he said. “She needed someone to listen, but didn’t complain.”
In the end, Harold was at home and surrounded by family – his wife of over 60 years, his three children, his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. And his family was surrounded by a hospice team that laughed with them, cried with them and offered their help in the details.
“They were so precious,” Delia said. “They were friends.”