Thursday, April 23, 2020

Sewing Masks to Pay it Forward

Even during a public health crisis, hospice and palliative care professionals rise to the challenge of providing compassionate, person-centered care in the community. What is equally powerful is seeing hospice volunteers and members of the community do the same.

NHPCO thanks Jennifer Matlack, Marketing and Public Relations Manager for Regional Hospice in Connecticut, for sharing this #hapcFacesofCaring story about Marion, who stepped up to a call for masks.

Like everyone else, we are grappling with low PPE inventory. As a backup, we put a call out to our volunteers, asking for people who could sew masks for us. Many have. We have about 300 now with more coming in. One woman, Marion, who sewed for us is not a volunteer but rather heard about our plea via a friend.

She ended up sewing about 20 masks for us and confided that being able to help in this way was really a release for her. She is a cancer survivor and at first was very hesitant about helping, as the nature of what we were asking kicked up past struggles with her health. She wrote to me after she made her masks for us, saying, “Asking me to do this was hard at first, but after I got done, you set me free.” 

“I was a cancer patient and I have been diabetic for 50 years, so sometimes getting involved with health issues others are facing brings huge compassion yet revives my own grief and frustration. That being said, to pay it forward is a gift, as I would rather be on the giving end than receiving,” Marion wrote.

Like so many other hospice and palliative care providers, Regional Hospice is grateful for the outpouring of support we have received during this public health crisis.

If you would like to share the creative ways your hospice and palliative care team is caring for patients amid the COVID-19 crisis, please send us your photos and stories so you can be featured in the #hapcFacesOfCaring campaign.

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