Mar 03

Crystal and Kevin share their memories of how palliative care made a huge difference to two persons they loved dearly: Crystal’s aged mother after her stroke and a close friend struck by advanced breast cancer.


I’ll never forget the evening Kevin and I received a phone call from my father, announcing that my mother had experienced a stroke and had been taken to the closest hospital. Up until that day, I was unaware of the significant decline in physical and mental functions that occur with a stroke. However, it didn’t take long for me to discover that the effects can be devastating. Over the next few weeks, as my beloved mother struggled to walk on her own, speak with clarity and heal, I came face to face with the difficulties of medical conditions that didn’t have a quick fix.  There was no cast for a broken limb, no antibiotic for bacterial disease, but rather a program of recovery that might or might not bring improved health.

Despair and Hope

As the weeks became months and the months became years, there were moments of despair and moments of hope. Whether a result of incompetent medical intervention, or simply the ravages of the stroke on an elderly woman, there never was a substantial recovery to her former self.  A partial healing left her wheelchair bound, with the ability to speak but with the inability to communicate effectively because of her damaged brain. As a family, we were simply happy to still have her with us and able to show her love and attention.

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Crystal and Kevin Sullivan

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