Sometimes, we have the privilege to serve patients who have dedicated their lives to all of us. And sometimes, that little extra care and compassion can have a tremendous impact. Such is the case with Jim, who has been with the Aurora Visiting Nurse Association (AVNA) since February of 2013. Amy Farley, a social worker with Aurora’s Visiting Nurse Association who is based in Oshkosh shares this story:
As Jim’s social worker, I can tell you that our entire AVNA team has had the chance to get to know Jim very well over the past year. He loves to tell stories of his days working at the Winnebago Mental Health Institute, about his wife, and about his days in the Navy. In fact, when a person meets Jim, within 5 minutes, that person will probably have heard at least two stories about Jim’s Navy days!
After a routine check-up, Jim’s nurse practitioner, Dayton, mentioned she noticed his Korean War hat. She asked Jim if he ever went on the Old Glory Honor Flight. Jim explained that he had wanted to go, however, was unable to because his daughter had passed away and that was the person who was going to go with him. Dayton gave Jim an application to the Old Glory Honor Flight, and let him know that she was involved with the organization, and could help him go.
Jim brought the application home and I helped him fill it out and coordinated with the Old Glory Honor Flight organization. Due to Jim’s health condition, the organization was able to help him in joining a flight this past June (normally, there is a 12-18 month waiting period for the flights). In addition, individuals going on the flights need to have a guardian to go with them. The Old Glory Honor Flight coordinators found a volunteer guardian to go with Jim on the flight.
The morning of the flight, Jim’s home health aide, Tammy, got up at 3AM and drove to Jim’s house to get him up, showered, and ready for his flight. The volunteer from Old Glory Honor Flight arrived at Jim’s house at 5AM to take him to the airport.
When Jim arrived back at the airport from his journey to Washington D.C., he was welcomed home by his son-in-law, friends from church, and his team from Aurora. He was presented with an American Flag quilt made by volunteers and signed by his Aurora caregivers team, which he now has on his bed.
Being able to share this journey and experience with Jim has been our pleasure. It was truly a team effort. From the nurse who ensured his medications were ready to go and got the oxygen that was needed for the airplane, the dedicated home health aide that got up extra early to make sure he was ready, the volunteers who made him his quilt, and the nurse practitioner who got the whole ball rolling for him.
Thank you to the amazing Aurora Visiting Nurse Association team who listened, cared for, and went the extra mile to help the people we serve live well. And you can help. Contact Judi Strout, Foundation Development Officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org , 414-615-5935 or give online to give.aurora.org/donate.