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Lonnie Davis is on a mission to spread the word about hospice care and the positive impact Hosparus Health Green River had on his family. He hopes by sharing his story, he will encourage others in the community to seek Hosparus’ help in caring for their loved ones. 

W.B. “Johnnie” and Thelma Davis had been married for over 70 years and were inseparable. Up until this point, they had been able to live on their own in Campbellsville near their son, Lonnie, and his wife, Charlotte. Mounting medical issues were putting a strain on the couple’s adult children. Johnnie was in a wheelchair and had a combination of health problems, including dementia and diabetes. Thelma had Parkinson’s disease and was struggling with her arthritis.  

Lonnie and Charlotte had assumed the role of primary caretakers for the couple while his sister Donna shared the responsibility by staying with her parents several nights a week. While they were all willing to lend a hand, they knew they needed more help, especially as their parents’ medical conditions were progressing. “We were running ragged,” Lonnie admitted, as the daily tasks and stresses of caregiving were piling up.  

Support for the Whole Family

Unsure of where to turn, Lonnie was introduced to Hosparus by a friend. “I had always thought hospice care was just for end-of-life,” Lonnie said, speaking about his misconceptions. “But I was talking to a good friend who told me they offered so much more than just help at the very end. I was really amazed by what he said they did – especially that they’d bring the care to [my parents] at home.”  

After speaking to his family, Lonnie wasted no time scheduling a consultation. “They came down right away and were not only concerned about my mom and dad but were also concerned about my sister and myself taking care of them,” Lonnie recounted. 

The family felt supported and knew they had made the right decision to call. The team listened to the Davises’ wishes to stay together in their home and spoke candidly to the family about their options. “The team bent over backward in every way possible to help mom and dad and to make sure they stayed home as long as they could,” Lonnie said. The family took comfort in the 24-hour support Hosparus provided, “They told us to call any time, seven days a week – even in the middle of the night if we needed,” he added. “They were just great.” 

The Davises soon considered the team part of the family as relationships developed. Lonnie’s parents enjoyed their visits from the Hosparus staff and would light up when they came to the house. Thelma spent hours working puzzles and chatting with the team while Johnnie cracked jokes to make everyone laugh. Lonnie shared how invaluable it felt to see everyone engage with his parents, instead of rushing through a checklist and hurrying out the door.  

Creating More Meaningful Moments

The couple’s ability to receive in-home care became even more meaningful during the COVID-19 pandemic. As nursing facilities closed their doors to visitors, the Davises were able to follow safety precautions and continue their daily routine together. The family recognized this wouldn’t have been possible without the extra layer of medical, emotional, and spiritual support from the Hosparus team. “[Hosparus’] care kept them from having to go to a nursing home for a long time,” Lonnie recalled. With the stressors of caretaking removed, the family was able to focus on enjoying their moments together. “It meant so much to us to be able to sit down and talk, and just be with each other during that time.”  

Over time, the couple’s medical needs rose. The family decided it was time to move to a nursing facility for around-the-clock care. When a room opened that the couple could share, a non-negotiable requirement for the pair, Hosparus was there to help with the transition.  

The team continued to provide services to the Davises, wrapping them with support as the couple lived out their final days together. Thelma passed away on August 8, 2022, and Johnnie passed away weeks later, on September 19. Lonnie remembers how much it meant to have the team call after his parents passed, offering condolences, and checking on his well-being. “You can’t just go to the store and buy that kind of help, friendship, and that level of caring,” Lonnie said. “It was something you could feel.”  

The family was grateful for their decision to hand over caretaking responsibilities to Hosparus. “We could not have made it without you all,” Donna shared. “Mom and Dad loved their Hosparus family, as do Lonnie and I.” 

Expanding in the Community

Now, the family wants to make sure others in their community are aware of these vital services. Lonnie shared their experience at the grand opening of the new Hosparus Health Green River community center in Campbellsville. He hopes to educate others who are unsure where to turn about the support available for their loved ones from Hosparus.  

Thank you, Lonnie, for spreading the word about the benefits of our care. We were honored to be there for the Davis family during their time of need and look forward to providing compassionate support to more families facing serious illness from our new Green River office and community center.  

If you’re not sure if you or your loved one qualify for hospice care, give us a call today at (800)-HOSPICE. Starting sooner rather than later can offer you the support you need to create more moments. 

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