What My Hospice means is different to each individual and family we serve. For hospice staff like Brooke, it means working with patients who reinforce and remind them why hospice is their passion. As Medicare’s first coordinated care model, we must protect the services and care provided by individuals like Brooke under the hospice Medicare Hospice Benefit.

Brooke was helping fulfill one last wish for Sylvia. She loved Harley’s and the staff wanted to give her one more ride. In this picture, one of her friends that took this ride for her.

Brooke has enjoyed holding the hands of many patients in the middle of the night and being part of seeing dreams fulfilled. She feels blessed to call working in hospice her job, and here she shares some patient stories and explains her commitment to hospice as her calling and her “why:”

“My journey with hospice started eight years ago as a professional risk manager (PRM) in York. I had a belief that hospice was wonderful. However, I did not find out that it was my passion until I met DJ and his family. 

DJ was a young man with cancer, not ready to die but needed us. DJ and his family taught me that not everyone is ready for hospice and that we need to meet our families and patients where they are on that journey.

DJ also taught me that at times, our patients still have unfinished business…what I like to call their “bucket list” to complete. DJ was a veteran, a family man, and a Harley Davidson lover. After talking with DJ, I also found out he did not want to die until he first married his girlfriend of 10 years. Our team went to work and was able to have a celebration to honor his relationship.

After that day, I stopped by to see how he was doing. He said he was not ready to die. He wanted one last ride on his Harley. Now, I’m not one that ever says no, however, I was a little concerned about how we would get this accomplished. But, with the help of wonderful nurses and all of his biker family, DJ got to go out and roar through his small town one last time. We even had the chance to honor his service in the military.

It was a week later that I sat by his bedside with his family listening to none other than Johnny Cash and watched as he peacefully took his last breath. 

Since then, I have had an even greater passion for serving our veterans with honor, making sure they receive our gratitude and have the opportunity to die with dignity. I also know and have seen over the last eight years how wonderful it is when our patients can have their bucket list completed.”

We invite you to keep promoting the power of hospice by joining the My Hospice campaign. Please consider sharing this post with your family and friends on Facebook and Twitter, or share your My Hospice story with us.