The first patient to be admitted to the Marshak Family Hospice Pavilion was a 64 year old married female who was admitted to IPU at Lieberman with metastatic melanoma. She was admitted for management of abdominal pain and for end of life care. She was the first patient transferred from the IPU at Lieberman to the Hospice Pavilion. Her name was Utaiwon Maleegrai and she was my mother.
If I had to sum up the story of my friend, Louis Zamperini, his story is one of survival, suffering, salvation and forgiveness.
I came into his life by happenstance at the end of World War II in 1945, when I was a 21-year-old B-29 pilot tasked with a crew to reach the POW camp where Louis was being held, so we could drop critical food and supplies before the ground troops were able to reach them.
Yizkor, which means remembrance in Hebrew, is Judaism's memorial prayer. It is customary for Jews in mourning to recite this prayer throughout the year.
As part of our Jewish Care Services team, we help host an annual Yizkor Service that is open to any of our Jewish families who have lost a loved one over the past year. Our Yizkor Service provides a safe environment for families to honor their loved ones and the sadness and grief that accompany their loss. The service is led by our Jewish Care Services team, our rabbis, as well as a member of the Bereavement Team.
This was my first year and first experience as a Camp Counselor. I will honestly admit that it did take some coaxing from our CampCare Director, Sheila Yousuf-Abramson. Her strong belief in the program sealed my commitment. On August 12, 2015, I boarded the bus to Holiday Home Camp in Wisconsin with a nervous excitement and ready for adventure.