A special thank you from our four-legged friends
Most families consider loving and caring for pets a beautiful part of life.
Yet, families and patients facing end-of life journeys often struggle to care for their four legged family members.
We know you join us in believing that no one should have to give up a pet when diagnosed with a terminal illness.
Because of your gifts, McLeod Hospice has established a new partnership with the national organization, Pet Peace of Mind. This program provides volunteer pet care services for patients who are unable to look after their pets while on hospice care.
Latta residents Cindy and Ernie Hyatt became one of the first families to benefit from the new program. Ernie, a McLeod Hospice in-home patient since May, and his wife, Cindy, find great comfort in receiving much needed help to care for their beloved dogs, Max and Izzy.
“Cindy and I love Max and Izzy as if they are our children. Knowing they have the attention they need is very important to us,” shares Ernie.
Recently, during a medical crisis, Max laid his head on Ernie’s heart for two hours until Ernie stabilized. Max and Izzy know when their owners need extra love.
As participants in the Pet Peace of Mind program, Ernie and Cindy receive regular home visits by volunteers who take the dogs out for walks and play as well as provide trips to the groomer and the vet. “Ernie and I feel incredibly blessed and grateful for your support,” says Cindy. “The Pet Peace of Mind program plays a critical role in our hospice journey because I can now devote my full attention to caring for Ernie.”
Cindy knows at the appropriate time, she too will volunteer with Pet Peace of Mind to give back for all she and Ernie have received from McLeod Hospice. Max and Izzy thank you, too.
John DeBerry and his sister, Mary Wallace Moore, were raised observing and learning from the compassionate heart of their mother, Teena DeBerry. Motivated by Teena’s giving spirit, John and Mary Wallace wanted to honor her in a special way that would serve to help others.
“Mary Wallace and I could never ask for any greater blessing than the one that our mother has been to us,” said John. “We wanted to find a way to honor her in a fashion that would support the community that has been so good to all of us.
“One of Mom’s attributes that we are most grateful for is her caring nature and her compassionate heart. The opportunity to support the McLeod Hospice program seemed to be the perfect fit to honor our Mother’s kind spirit as McLeod Hospice provides compassionate care to so many patients and families at a time when they need it most,” added John.
John and Mary Wallace consulted with the McLeod Health Foundation on how they could support the hospice program and decided to establish a McLeod Hospice Tree Lighting Sponsor Endowment. The endowment will provide funding for McLeod Hospice in perpetuity and the gift will honor Teena every year at the annual “A Light for Someone You Love” Tree Lighting ceremony.
“The perpetual nature of this gift will be a way to honor Mom each Christmas for many years to come,” explained Mary Wallace. “The timing of the tree lighting is also significant for our family because Mom has always demonstrated to us the true meaning of the Christmas season and has made every Christmas extra special for our family.
“These are values and traditions that I hope to be able to pass along to my children. The annual hospice tree lighting will become a special part of that tradition, and I hope it will help to inspire my children to live their lives and appreciate each Christmas in the same way that their Grandmother always has,” said Mary Wallace.
Grey Raines and his family are motivated by a mission to carry on his father’s legacy by supporting the McLeod Health Foundation. Grey’s father, Mark Raines, founder of Raines Hospitality Group in Florence, was a loyal supporter of the McLeod Children’s Hospital. From regular financial contributions to providing complimentary hotel rooms to families traveling for treatment at the Children’s Hospital, Mark was deeply committed to children’s healthcare throughout his life.
“My cousin was born with a heart defect, and had to undergo several surgeries early in life,” recalled Grey. “This experience demonstrated to him the need for a great Children’s Hospital.”
One of Mark’s favorite events to benefit the McLeod Children’s Hospital was the Annual Raines Hospitality Hot Dog Eating Contest.
“The hot dog contest started 16 years ago as a fun way to bring our employees together,” said Grey. “As it grew, it evolved into a charity event to support McLeod Children’s Hospital.”
As Raines Hospitality has expanded from a single hotel to nine – with five more currently under construction – what started as a small event for fewer than 20 employees, has now grown to include more than 300. Last year, the contest raised $5,000 for the Children’s Hospital.
Grey takes great pride in watching his father’s hot dog eating contest be an ongoing event, and flourish.
“The contest was Dad’s biggest event -- he thought about it all the time,” Grey recalled with a smile.
“And, as our business continues to grow, so will the impact we make on McLeod Children’s Hospital.”
In 2015, Mark began receiving care from McLeod Hospice for a chronic lung disease. Mark’s final days in the McLeod Hospice House in December of that year led the family to extend their support of the McLeod Foundation to include McLeod Hospice.
In 2017, the family was honored to be asked to represent all McLeod Hospice families in lighting the trees during the annual “A Light for Someone You Love” ceremony, which benefits the McLeod Hospice program.
benefits the McLeod Hospice program. “We saw firsthand how patients and families benefit from Hospice care during a very difficult time. It was a blessing for our family and we want to ensure other families receive that same level of excellent care in the years to come,” added Grey.
Family connections to McLeod Health are at the very heart of Dan and Susan Guyton’s generous support of the McLeod Foundation.
Following in his late father, Dr. Eugene D. Guyton’s footsteps, Dr. Dan Guyton, a retired Urologist, has served in a number of Medical Staff leadership roles at McLeod including Chief of Staff. In these roles, he has been an integral part of the direction and movement to quality improvement that has evolved from the Clinical Effectiveness initiatives. He also serves on the McLeod Health Board of Trustees. Through this work, he is aware of the many programs that must be funded through charitable support. It is this knowledge that led Dan and Susan to become dedicated donors to the McLeod Foundation.
Last year, one particular area of support began to take on new meaning for their family.
The Guyton’s were well aware of the value of hospice care as their family was supported by McLeod Hospice with both of Dan’s parents well before there was a Hospice House. When they learned that the McLeod Hospice House needed additional rooms, they were quick to respond and generously made a commitment to this project which is recognized in memory of Susan’s father, Elmer Chasteen.
This past year, Dr. Steve Ross spoke to Susan and her sisters, Beth Stokes and Jean Morris, about their mother, Nadine Barrett. He felt the time had come for them to consider hospice care. In working with McLeod Hospice the sisters learned that the Hospice House offered Residential Care.
Residential Care is an option for patients on a limited basis as rooms are available. This level of care differs from Acute Inpatient Care in that the residential patient is medically stable. The environment at the Hospice House also provides both the patient and family comfort and peace of mind.
Susan shares that the Hospice House offers a feeling of peace when you walk in the door. “You are immediately embraced by a staff that wants to meet every need.” The family found the spacious rooms allowed them to spend precious moments with their mother and grandmother. They were able to welcome friends who visited as well as take advantage of the beautiful weather by rolling Nadine’s bed onto the room’s private patio. Surrounded by her loving family and supported by the professional McLeod Hospice staff, Nadine spent her final days in a calm and peaceful environment that was made possible by donors like the Guyton’s.
Dan and Susan add that this compassionate care is why they give to the McLeod Foundation – so other families can experience the same blessings that they did.