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For Gordon Vogel, Hosparus Health’s Heart Connection® program has allowed him to continue living his life to the fullest, on his terms.

A World Champion’s Beginnings

Gordon has always been a social butterfly. After high school, he left his family’s Iowa pig farm to join the Army. Upon discharge, he returned to his hometown and spent a few years in the family business before ultimately deciding he wanted to forge his own path. He moved to Kentucky, where his daughters Vicki and Kathy were raised.

For years, he traveled all over the country and the world competing in pipe smoking competitions with friends from the International Association of Pipe Smokers’ Club (IAPSC) and its Kentuckiana Pipe Club chapter. In 1988, he even won the coveted IAPSC World Championship title at a competition in Saginaw, Michigan.

He estimates that over the years he acquired a collection of over one thousand pipes and trophies from his competitions, recently sharing these prized possessions with his grandchildren. While he gave up competing and regular pipe smoking years ago, the connection and communal aspects that came with the club remained incredibly important to Gordon. He stayed active in his local chapter where he loved joking, laughing, and telling stories from the glory days with others.

Maintaining Connection

When his health began to decline, it became more difficult for him to maintain the fellowship and friendships he valued so dearly. At the time, he was living alone in his home, and his daughters were splitting caretaking responsibilities. They were taking turns running him back and forth to his medical appointments at an outpatient heart clinic where he was receiving treatment for heart failure.

His daughter, Vicki, noted that his quality of life was impacted greatly by his condition. He was short of air and out of breath, tired, experiencing confusion, forgetting medications, and unable to participate in the activities he loved. The situation felt dire for the entire family when they were referred to the Heart Connection Program and decided to reach out to Hosparus for support.

Hope with Hosparus

After being connected to Dr. Tyler McQueen, Registered Nurse Jessica Delaney, Certified Nursing Assistant Angela Payne, Social Worker Ashley Dawson, and the rest of the team, the family sat down with everyone and had a long talk about their options. Everyone wanted Gordon to have the highest quality of life possible, for as long as possible.

The family had already moved him into an apartment at an independent living facility, where he had layered support and an embedded community. Together, the family and Hosparus team decided to simplify Gordon’s medications so he could feel more like himself again and get back to doing things that brought him joy.

Gordon shared what a notable difference he sees with the time and attention provided to him by his team. He highlighted how much it means to him to sit down and have a conversation with Dr. McQueen and his nurses and to actually feel heard by his clinical team. His family has also expressed how much they appreciate the level of communication Jessica, Angela, and the rest of the team provide to not only their father but the entire family.

Care Focused on You

Through the Heart Connection program, Gordon receives regular visits in his apartment throughout the week from Angela and Jessica. They provide services, assist with bathing, manage his medical needs, and monitor his symptoms. When his fluid levels become too high, Jessica can quickly intervene by providing Gordon with a diuretic until his levels return to normal. This attention to detail has kept Gordon safe and out of the hospital on at least 16 separate occasions since starting the program!

This ongoing support from the Hosparus team has allowed Gordon to stay comfortably in his new home, uninterrupted by preventable hospitalizations. He has reclaimed his social life and is thriving, having found his place in the community. He attends outings and mixers hosted by the senior living facility. He enjoys excursions throughout the town and has visited Huber’s and the Derby Dinner Playhouse. Gordon has become a regular at the facility’s happy hour (while adhering to Jessica’s guidelines!) and has made new friendships with others in the community.

According to Vicki, Gordon is the “poster child for mind over matter.” He is a fighter determined to beat the odds and intends to continue living his life to the fullest, on his terms. With the help of his Hosparus team, he is doing just that!

If you are unsure whether you or someone you know qualifies for our Heart Connection® program, call us today at 800-264-0521 to learn more. Our program is designed to help patients manage their heart disease symptoms at home and provides in-home visits by our specially trained interdisciplinary team with 24-hour clinical support.

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