JourneyCare Brings Ecuador to Fanny
Posted by Timothy Lankford, Chaplain
“What are your goals?” This is a question we ask all patients who are in our care. What can we do for them? What do they want to achieve? For our patient Fanny, her goal seemed impossible. But at JourneyCare, we never turn a patient away and we always strive to find a way to make their goals happen - even if it takes some creative thinking.
Fanny’s story starts with her journey to the United States. She lived in Ecuador her entire life and was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Determined to visit her son, Fanny flew to Illinois to spend time with him and her extended family. Unfortunately, Fanny's health unexpectedly declined and doctors denied her travels back to Ecuador. To find help and comfort, Fanny's son brought her to JourneyCare.
Fanny’s only wish and goal was to return home to Ecuador. Since this wasn’t possible due to her health, our incredible staff came up with the idea to bring Ecuador to her. We chose to throw her a party that would celebrate her culture, her home life, and make her feel like she was in Ecuador again!
Making Her Goals Come True
We discussed our idea with Fanny's son and he was ecstatic. He couldn’t believe our efforts to make his mother happy. We asked him about her life in Quito, the capital of Ecuador, and incorporated the details into our plans.
We worked with JourneyCare volunteers to gather decorations, pictures from Fanny's hometown, flowers in the color of the Ecuadorian flag, food, music, and more. One volunteer discovered a bakery that baked cookies typically only found in Ecuador. Fanny’s son said they tasted just like home.
The Celebration of a Lifetime
When it came time to throw the party, Fanny was thrilled! She couldn’t believe what we had done to make her feel at home. Staff gathered and we went in together dancing to the music, waving Ecuadorian flags, and then celebrated together with her family. It was truly a party!
Fanny’s son captured the celebration on video and sent it to family and friends in Ecuador who were missing her presence. It felt like everyone was there to celebrate the fun.
It’s days like this that remind everyone at JourneyCare of why we do what we do. Our nonprofit organization is here to celebrate our patients' lives and provide the best comfort and care while maintaining their dignity. Fanny felt like she was back at home and celebrated her culture. Although Fanny couldn’t go back to Ecuador, JourneyCare could help her feel like she was there and keep her connected to culture and family. Now, she has that memory forever.
Thinking about becoming a JourneyCare volunteer?! Check out the many ways you can help out! journeycare.org/volunteer/volunteer-opportunities.