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‘Why we give’: Susan Mundy and family

My husband Christopher Mundy and I, along with my parents, Jerome and Gloria Targun, have supported JourneyCare for years, thanks to our family friendship with Senior Director of Philanthropy Anne Rossiter – and thanks to something my Dad always said:

“Everyone will pass through hospice at some point and there is such a vital need for this kind of care,” he would tell us.

Jerome and Gloria Targun supported JourneyCare for many years, so they knew where to turn when Jerome became ill.

Christopher and I served on the Service Board for more than a decade, and we made donations a priority. My father had also previously been under the care of Dr. Alan Smookler, who is now a JourneyCare Assistant Medical Director.

But my family had never experienced hospice care first-hand until early this year.

At age 91, my dad was admitted to hospice and ultimately came to the Marshak Family Hospice CareCenter in Glenview when his symptoms needed extra clinical attention.

The care was sensational and every single team member was so lovely from the core. They were warm, caring, compassionate and patient.

Their patience was especially critical in helping my mom and me understand some of the drastic changes happening to dad. During our visits, he would become agitated and tell us to stop talking or ask us to leave the room. It was so out of character for the man we always knew as so loving and gregarious.

Thanks to the care team, we learned that he was “cocooning” as his life was coming to an end and was finding his peace from within, which is rather common. The team was so compassionate about explaining this process.

When my father ultimately died, we were able to have as much time in the room as we needed without feeling rushed. Before we exited, JourneyCare Associate Medical Director Dr. Usha Mehta offered to say a prayer for him. Mindful that dad was not religious, Dr. Mehta offered a spiritual invocation that made us all comfortable. My mother and I were so moved.

When it was time to take my father to the funeral home, JourneyCare’s We Honor Veterans program honored dad’s World War II service by placing an American flag over his body for travel. Every team member at the CareCenter then took a moment from their duties to heed chimes ringing throughout the halls for his Ceremony of Life.

My mom couldn’t believe how lovely this was. The care was nothing short of spectacular from start to finish.

This is why JourneyCare is among our highest priorities for giving, and this feeling is unanimous in our family.

 

– As told to Elisabeth Mistretta, JourneyCare Content Specialist
Originally published in Together to Care, Summer 2016

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