Hospice heroes were found everywhere in a storm that surpassed worst expectations

Press Release


DATE: November 19, 2012
CONTACT: Dr. Roxanne Debski- Seigel
Karen Ann Quinlan Memorial Foundation
Offices in Newton & Phillipsburg, NJ & Milford PA.
PHONE: 973-383-0115
TOLL FREE: 800-882-1117
FAX: 973-383-6889
EMAIL: rdebski-seigel@karenannquinlanhospice.org
WEBSITE: www.karenannquinlanhospice.org

Hospice heroes were found everywhere in a storm that surpassed worst expectations
PHOTO: Hospice Heroes

Hospice heroes were found everywhere in a storm that surpassed worst expectations

Newton, NJ – November 19, 2012 – Those who work for hospice live everyday with the mantra that every moment of life is precious, but as Hurricane Sandy roared through our area, it brought all of us a little closer to that experience. We all felt a bit more fragile during such a storm, but imagine if you can, sitting bedside with a loved one who is dying. That by itself is sad and frightening without having to face the urgency of basic survival of keeping warm and staying out of harm’s way. There were patients who were on oxygen or were in need of medication; those families needed the support and guidance from their hospice team.

At the very worst of the storm, Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice and its nursing staff needed to get to those patients and their families, but with fallen trees and wires down, it was treacherous and risky. The Sussex County Sheriff’s department immediately stepped up and escorted any hospice nurse who needed to get to a patient’s home, and held that offer open. Patients, nurses, and families thanked them for making sure they received the care they needed.

“The nurses worked tirelessly putting their own safety at risk as well as their needs to make sure we did the right thing by our patients; insuring their patients had enough oxygen, meds, and warmth.” Beth Sylvester, Karen Ann Quinlan Nursing Supervisor. With the gas shortages and lines, the office staff remained on stand-by to use their own vehicle if necessary to escort a nurse to a patient’s home. Executive Director Cecelia Clayton was among those who manned the office the day after the storm, assuring patients and families we would “weather this” with them and they were not alone.

Our local medical facilities, Newton Medical Center and St Luke’s in Warren County, along with medical supplier AtHome Medical also deserve accolades for all their backing during this time.

In Pike County, PA, the local heroes of hospice were the Milford Fire Department. One of the hospice social workers at the Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice Milford office contacted them in need of generators, and they delivered them the very day after the storm.

Realizing the devastation in New Jersey, aid came from all over the country; Calvert Hospice, located in Prince Frederick, Maryland wanted to help so they decided to “adopt” a New Jersey Hospice and send up needed supplies. They chose Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice as they thought much of the help was being focused on Southern Jersey, and wanted to reach out where there was less attention being asserted. “When their Director of Development, Linda Gottfried contacted me and explained their mission, it was truly heartwarming”.- Roxanne Seigel, Director of Marketing and Advancement, Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice. Seigel continued “I immediately went to our department heads to find out what was needed to bring comfort to our patients and their families”.

The Calvert Hospice arranged to have delivered blankets, gas and kerosene cans, batteries, flashlights, gloves, hand warmers, and small toiletries, all donated by their staff with a message; “Dear Sister Hospice, you are in our thoughts and prayers”.

For most of us life is returning to normal, but there is still the devastation around us and on the news; infrastructures destroyed, debris piles that were once homes, and just the loss of security, the thoughts of what if that tree had fallen and can it or will it happen again? What will I do differently to prepare is top of the mind for many.

For those who are grieving the loss of a spouse or loved one, it may be more complicated, for it is the first time dealing with a crisis without their loved one. This also brings to the surface feelings of being alone and isolation. For others, they feel that they have had to “put their grief away” in order to cope with their immediate needs (water, heat, food). At the Joseph T Quinlan Bereavement center, their Monday night support group had a record number of people in attendance with many of new faces. “The hurricane was a big topic at the beginning of the meeting.” Diana Sebzda, Director of Bereavement pointed out. If you would like to join one of the support groups, visit www.karenannquinlanhospice.org and click onto bereavement for the days and times of support groups closest to you. The bereavement center offers group counseling in Sussex and Warren Counties, NJ and in Pike County, PA.

The Karen Ann Quinlan Memorial Foundation is passionately dedicated to providing Hospice care for the terminally ill, Bereavement for those who have lost loved ones and Home Care assistance for recovery patients. Serving Northwest NJ and Northeast PA; please call 800 882 1117 to reach any of our services. Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice, 99 Sparta Ave., Newton, NJ, Karen Ann Quinlan Home Health Care, 755 Memorial Parkway, Phillipsburg, NJ and Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice, 104 Bennett Ave., Milford, PA. The Joseph T. Quinlan Bereavement Centers, 61 Spring St., Newton NJ and 214 Washington St., Hackettstown, NJ. For programs, events, support groups and more information visit www.karenannquinlanhospice.org.


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