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Family, Friends Surprise Hospice Patient with Pool Party

With the help of their mother’s nurse and social worker, Brandie Wright and Belinda Turley pulled off a surprise pool party to celebrate their mom, Sue Turley, 69, a hospice patient.

Sue Turley retired from Memorial Child Care and previously served as a hospice volunteer.

“My mom’s hospice nurse, Michelle Killion, along with my mom’s hospice social worker, Jobi Tabb, caught on quickly that my mom has a love for swimming,” Wright said. “Since she is a tracheotomy patient, we came up with the idea of the Kerasotes YMCA because they have an indoor, zero-entry pool.”

Killion and Tabb are both with Memorial Home Hospice, part of Memorial Home Services, which is an affiliate of Memorial Health System.

Tabb and Turley’s daughters worked with Raegan Hennemann from the Memorial Medical Center Foundation to plan the party, which ended up being the 350th wish for the foundation’s Sharing Wishes Fund.

Since 2012, the Sharing Wishes Fund has granted wishes for hospice patients and their families across central Illinois, from something as simple as a family meal to adventures like a hot air balloon ride.

Turley’s daughters and Tabb met with the team at Kerasotes to ensure a safe and fun event for Sue Turley. Staff at the Kerasotes YMCA turned off all the water jets and sprinklers in the pool during the party so that Turley could easily walk and enjoy the swimming area.

“They also provided us with three life guards who were trained in giving CPR to a trach patient,” Wright said. “This alleviated a lot of worry and stress for my family.”

The surprise was a huge success. Sue Turley knew she was going swimming, but she didn’t have a clue that her family, friends and hospice team would all be there to honor and celebrate with her.

“The celebration for my mom was amazing and will always be a memory we will cherish,” Wright said. “We truly appreciate all the hard work everyone contributed to accomplish this wish.”

For more information on the Sharing Wishes Fund or to make a donation, visit SharingWishesFund.org.

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