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Hospice Breakfast Speaker Selected



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Hospice Breakfast Speaker Selected

By Nancy K. Crevier

A phone call on the Friday evening of Memorial Day weekend five years ago was the first notice John Truitt had of his father’s diagnosis of cancer. By Wednesday of the next week, his father was dead.

But in just the short five days that the family had left with his father, the hospice group in his father’s California hometown had come to the assistance of the family.

“We arranged the premeeting with the family and hospice, then they were at the house helping, and they were there to help after he had died,” said Mr Truitt, who will be this year’s featured speaker at the Newtown Chapter Annual Regional Hospice of Western Connecticut breakfast on Wednesday, June 17, at The Waterview in Monroe.

“It all happened so quickly, and while I knew of friends who had used hospice when stricken with cancer, my involvement up until then was a little removed,” Mr Truitt said.

What hospice gave his father, he said, was the chance for him to be in a comfortable environment, and more importantly, the knowledge that the survivors would be able to lead the life that he wanted them to live during his final days.

“Education was big to my dad,” said Mr Truitt, “and there were two grandchildren just about to graduate when he was diagnosed. Hospice allowed the family to continue doing what was important to my father — spending time with the young people who were graduating.”

What he learned, said Mr Truitt, was that hospice is as much for the survivors as the person dying.

“I never understood that about hospice before my experience with my father,” Mr Truitt said.

There is a level of comfort that the skilled hospice workers bring to the person stricken with a terminal illness that cannot always be best provided by immediate family. “Sometimes, it is easier to accept help from a third party,” Mr Truitt said, “and hospice can do that. Until you experience what hospice can provide first-hand, you can’t fully understand all that they do.”

Supporting the local hospice is important, said Mr Truitt, either through financial donations or through volunteering. “The odds are, someone in your family or someone you know will need the services of hospice one day,” he said.

Regional Hospice of Western Connecticut can be supported through the sponsorship of a table for eight at the June 17 breakfast, for $100, or through a corporate sponsorship of a table for 12, for $500.

For more information contact breakfast co-chairperson Marg Studley at 426-3651.

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