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 This Is What We Do, This Is Who We Are

 

 

Celina Manor is a skilled nursing facility located in the small town of Celina, Ohio. This is a typical farm community where everyone knows somebody and somebody knows everybody. It’s a tight-knit community, and people are always willing to lend a hand. One of our families had a special place in the hearts of our community.

Imogene Stott, we call her Pat, was devastated when she realized she could no longer care for her husband at home. Ted had been in and out of the hospital and was receiving therapy at Celina Manor. But, unfortunately, he was at the point that he could no longer live in their home.

A Love Story

Pat and Ted were so in love, and it showed. After he moved into Celina Manor as a permanent resident, they sat in the lounge holding hands and sharing stories with the staff daily. Pat never said good-bye without a smile and kiss from Ted.

After some time, Ted’s condition began to deteriorate and his memory declined. However, he knew who his wife was and was able to express to her that she was the love of his life.

Pat was spending every waking minute at Celina Manor to be with him. Soon, she couldn’t find it in herself to say good-bye at the end of the day.

Meanwhile, the staff at Celina Manor began to notice changes in Pat: weight loss, confusion, tiredness.
We told Pat and her family how worried we were for her, and we wanted to make sure she was being taken care of.

After several months, the family called to discuss the likelihood of Pat living with her husband at Celina Manor. She no longer wanted to live without being by her husband. Pat knew she needed help and finally said, “It’s time. I’m ready to move in.”

The Difficult Decision

It was very hard for her, but Pat finally had to admit to herself and her family that she was ready for this change. Friends and family supported and assisted with her move, and we worked hard to set up a room where she and Ted could be together again, housing the things closest to their hearts.

Pat and Ted were thriving. They enjoyed being together, and they enjoyed the company of those around them. Pat and Ted were easily becoming part of the Celina Manor family.

Connecting With Their Son

Then something else began to weigh on Pat’s mind. Pat and Ted’s son George suffers from ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). Pat knew that with Ted’s decline and George’s illness, Ted would never see his son again, and her visits would be even fewer.

George and his wife, Linda, had lived in Celina for many years, owned two businesses, and were loved in the community. After his diagnosis, they had chosen to move closer to their own children in Tennessee.
As tough as it was to be apart, this is a close family relying on many telephone conversations to stay in touch. But as George and Ted’s diseases progressed, travel was not an option anymore, and communication was more difficult.

How Can We Help?

We began brainstorming on a way to bring them together again. Celina Manor’s Activity Director Yvonne Miller discovered a way to connect Pat and Ted with their son George and daughter-in-law Linda, so they could see and hear one another as if they were visiting Tennessee. And there was no better time than on Christmas Eve. Yvonne had a plan. Nobody really knew what was going on, and especially not Pat.

Phone calls were made, and the time finally came. Pat was told to grab her walker and head to the chapel. Ted would be waiting for her there. Both were placed in front of the computer screen. Knowing how we are, Pat asked inquisitively, “What in the world is going on? What are you guys up to?” What she didn’t know was that in a few minutes she was going to be the happiest women in the world.

We asked Pat if she had ever heard of Skype. “What are you talking about?” she asked. We explained Skype was a technology tool you could use to communicate with people far away. She said, “What will they come up with next?”

Then, we asked her the question that would fill the emptiness in her heart and change all of us forever. “Would you like to talk to George?” The look on her face was priceless.

As she wiped the tears from her face, there was George with his wife Linda on the screen. Pat’s hand reached out to the screen to touch him as she cried, “Oh George, it’s you. Ted, do you see George and Linda?” Ted was smiling with tears in his eyes. It was a defining moment: Father, mother, and son, who could no longer be together, were reunited once again.

This Is Our Purpose

Who possibly could have known that something that seems so ordinary to all of us could create such a defining moment in the lives of this family? With the help of a little technology, our compassionate staff was at its best, and we witnessed true love.

Pat and Ted were able to see George and be touched in a way that is unimaginable to most. True joy was brought to us all!

Ted has since passed away, and Pat has moved many miles away to be with her children and grandchildren. Just recently, the staff at Celina Manor’s Care Community supported ALS in honor of George by donating and participating in the Ice Bucket Challenge. Viewing the support on social media, Pat recently contacted us. She wanted to thank us for the support and love we had shown to her family with the dedication to her son, George.

On Sept. 30, 2014, we received word that George Stott had passed away a day earlier at his home in Knoxville, Tenn. Pat, George’s wife Linda, and their children were all at his bedside. A memorial was held in Celina, Ohio, for all the people who were impacted by the Stott family to have the opportunity to say good-bye. Pat made her way from Tennessee to visit us all again.

Although the circumstances were not what we had hoped to bring us together again, the smiles, tears, and friendships have all remained the same. Pat always says how we made her and Ted feel like the queen and king—little does she know the impact she has made on all of us.
 
Stacy Beougher is director of customer relations at Celina Manor in Celina, Ohio. She can be reached at (419) 586-6645.
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