BY KATIE MARSH
On October 15th, Forsyth Magazines’ writers Denise Heidel and Vonda Henderson rushed their family matriarch (their grandmother and mother, respectively), to the emergency room. Shortly upon arrival, it was discovered that their loved one had experienced a hemorrhagic stroke, and she was immediately sent to the Neuro ICU due to extreme bleeding in her brain.
“The next hours passed in a blur,” reflected Denise. “It was so unexpected, especially since she had just gotten a clean bill of health at her physical a few weeks earlier.”
But within 24 hours of arrival, the attending physician recommended hospice care.
Denise said, “We were stunned. But even in the midst of the chaos and confusion of medical terms, I realized the power of God’s timing. Just a few weeks before my grandmother was rushed to the hospital, I had written the Forsyth WomanNovember cover story on Trellis Supportive Care, as well as articles about their name change in both Forsyth Woman’sand Forsyth Family’sOctober issues. So, I was very familiar with the organization. With the information fresh on my mind, and from the moment the doctor recommended hospice care, Mom and I both said—‘We want Trellis Supportive Care.’”
Though the name was new, Denise and Vonda weren’t new to the organization. Both had written about the organization when it was known as Hospice & Palliative CareCenter, and had had previous experience when the organization took care of their grandfather/father. Denise said, “When they [now Trellis Supportive Care] cared for my grandfather in 2011, they secured a permanent place in our hearts.”
“During our consultation with the Trellis team,” continued Denise, “We both felt tremendous peace about placing my grandmother in their care. But Mom and I were both so grateful that we knew about their name change. We knew a major reason for their name change was due to the confusion of hospice options. Very often, families do not realize they have a choice. Many simply assume they will be with Trellis (our local, non-profit), only to learn later they may be with an unknown organization. Since not all organizations are created equal, knowledge is power.”
Denise shared, “We were grateful that the new name of Trellis meant our request was clear and we knew exactly which organization would be caring for my grandmother. The term ‘hospice’ often walks hand-in-hand with fear, and I have to admit, I was no exception, despite the positive experience I’ve had with them. And while Hospice care doesn’t necessarily mean death is imminent, for my grandmother, we knew it was. She was in the care of Trellis Supportive Care for the last two days of her life. We knew, however short her time, that she was in the very best care.”
The care Trellis Supportive Care showed was tremendous. Denise’s grandmother was admitted to the Kate B. Reynolds Hospice Home, and she recalled that the entire staff exuded professionalism and compassion. “I would say it was unparalleled compassion,” said Denise. “From the gentle and respectful way they handled hygiene and medication, they preserved my grandmother’s dignity. They were beyond kind to our family during some of the most difficult days we’ve ever experienced.”
Bethel J. Henderson passed away at Trellis’s Kate B. Reynolds Hospice Home on the evening of October 18th, 2018, and though she was not the first to do so, and certainly won’t be the last, Denise saw first hand how every life that passes through the doors of Trellis Supportive Care is a life that matters. It’s a life worthy of respect, and the organization’s supportive care lives up to its new name—Trellis.
Trellis Supportive Care supports patients and families in 13 counties in North Carolina and offer extensive support, including at-home care wherever a patient calls home; inpatient care; grief counseling; advance care planning, and much more. Offices are located in Winston-Salem, Mocksville, Walnut Cove, and Salisbury. Learn more at TrellisSupport.org, or call 336.768.3972 or 888.876.3663. Be sure to like their page on Facebook!