The hardest loss for a Mid-south family was coupled with care they say they’ll never forget. Methodist Hospice Residence offers around the clock relief for patients and their loved ones.
Jim McCarter and his wife Connie lost their daughter Shelly to a malignant brain tumor in August of 2012. She was diagnosed with it at the age of 27 and about five years later it claimed her life.
“I was holding her hand and just every breath I was listening to and finally she quit breathing,” McCarter explains.
He says he called for the nurse, “and I’ll never forget what she did, she stuck her stethoscope to her chest and she just said, ‘I don’t hear anything.'”
McCarter says he and his family received nothing but constant compassion since the day they moved Shelly into the residence. “That was the toughest decision I have ever made,” he remembers.
Connie is a nurse herself with decades of experience and intended to care for Shelly at home, but her team of doctors helped to decide that in-care hospice would offer the most comprehensive care.
“Her brain tumor was taking over, she was a little combative and didn’t want to listen,” explains McCarter.
Shelly moved into a room of her own, where she and her loved ones were able to come and go as they please. She turned 33 just over a month before she passed away and the McCarters say the nurses threw a lovely birthday party to celebrate their daughter.
The residence is home to up to 15 patients. It’s able to care for all ages, from infants to the elderly, with the goal of offering personal touches.
“Right now, we’ve got Christmas trees and wreaths and hanging cards,” explains Kandice Vincent, clinical director of Methodist Hospice Residence.
She says patients can come and go and family can spend as much time with them as possible. Jim McCarter says he spent many nights on Shelly’s couch and Connie was able to bake her favorite dishes and serve them to her daughter.
“They always looked after us too, looked after my husband, my son,” explains Connie. The whole family receiving the support that they needed.
The McCarters describe the Methodist Hospice Residence as a gift, that became a home to them. McCarter says, when it came to Shelly, “she didn’t want to come at first, but she loved every minute of it.”