About 10 a.m. Jan. 3, I stopped at Serenity House Hospice in Oregon to see whether it had a packet of information explaining its services. My dad had recently been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. A nurse brought me a cup of coffee, sat down with me, explained all the services, and gave me a packet of information to go over with my family.
I was supposed to take my dad to a doctor’s appointment at 2:30 that afternoon. I arrived about noon, said hello to my dad, and he said hello back and went back to napping in his chair. About 1:30 p.m., my sister and I tried to wake up Dad to get him to his appointment, and it quickly became apparent something was very wrong. Dad was drifting in and out and couldn’t walk without our assistance.
We called an ambulance, and Dad was taken to KSB Hospital in Dixon. Shortly after we arrived, my dad’s personal physician, Dr. Iyer, came down and examined him and, after conferring with the ER doctors, he called us into a side office and, as kindly as possible, explained to us that Dad had only days if not hours left.
My dad’s wish was to die at home. So by 5:30 that evening, he arrived back home. Minutes later, the folks from Serenity House arrived to assist us with Dad. All I can say is I can’t imagine going through this ordeal without their assistance. They provided my dad and my family with anything we needed, assisting my dad with all his needs, medications, equipment, medical procedures, hygiene issues, etc., but maybe most important, information, support and compassion to help us all deal with the situation. My dad passed about 8 a.m. Jan. 6, surrounded by his loving family.
I would like to express my sincere gratitude and thanks to the ER personnel at KSB for their kind and gentle treatment of dad and my family while we were there, a very special thanks to Dr. Iyer for his compassionate explanation of what was going on with Dad, and a very, very, special thanks to all the angels at Serenity House for everything they did for my dad and my family.
If you’re looking for somewhere to spend your charitable donations, please consider your local hospice. You will never know what an incredible job they do until you need them.