2017 Host Family - The Becky Sann Family
Becky Sann’s 2016 journey
Becky entered this world on May 24th, 1979. She was one of the first babies to be born at Aspirus (Wausau) hospital. At only 6# 5 oz she was small but powerful. As she grew she entertained us with her beautiful smile. At 9 ½ months old she suffered a spontaneous stroke and spent the next 6 weeks in the hospital. She returned home in a “pre-infantile” status, blind and unable to hold her head up or suck on a bottle. We were told not to expect anything.
Becky surprised us through the years as she grew to love the life she had. She regained her sight. Her older sister, Andrea, helped by reading to Becky, getting on the floor to be eye to eye and part of Becky’s world. By 3 years old she was able to sit and got her first wheelchair. At 4 years old her younger sister Michelle came along to keep her company. Through special education and physical therapy Becky learned to speak and even took some steps with a walker. Becky developed a sense of humor, responding to teasing. Music became very important to her. She couldn’t remember what she had for lunch but she knew every word of her favorite songs.
In January 2016 at 36 years old, Becky was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. She lived in an apartment with her roommate Jennifer and 24/day care. She had sisters in the area but her Mom lived 200 miles away. It was quickly determined that the cancer was advanced and inoperable. Her care was going to be complicated and difficult to manage in her home setting. Removing Becky from her familiar settings where she was surrounded by the caregivers she knew and her friends would have been very upsetting so Hospice worked with Becky’s Mom who is a nurse to keep Becky in her home as long as possible. Becky’s Mom got an apartment in Wausau and together, she and hospice evaluated and implemented care plans that changed frequently to keep Becky comfortable and happy. The team that worked with Becky included a physician, nurse, social worker, massage and music therapy. When the time came that Becky could no longer to managed at home, hospice arranged for Becky to be cared for at the hospital and then at Hospice House for the last two months of her life. Because Becky was not in a situation of being able to pay for the care she needed, funds from community grants were used to allow her to be in a comfortable environment where family could stay with her rather than being placed in a nursing home. Becky’s end of life was treated with respect and compassion not only for her but also for her entire family. Her caregivers, friends, sisters, Mom, Stepfather and extended family were able to able to spend quality time with Becky, guided by the professional and compassionate staff of Hospice. The family said, “Our family will forever be grateful. The situation would have been very different without hospice. Please support hospice so they can continue the important work they do by joining the hospice Run/Walk fundraiser May 13th”.
Mark & Kerry Fehrman
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