There are some things that contain such significant memories that they transform from an inanimate object to a physical reminder of a story and a life. For Robert (Bobby) Keenan, it was the Purple Heart Medal awarded to him for heroic efforts and injuries during two tours of the Vietnam War. To him, the Medal represents a time in his life in which he overcame high odds to survive. Bobby and his wife, Michelle, were living in Sedro Woolley when their house was destroyed by fire. Amidst ailing health and a string of unfortunate events, many of their possessions were never recovered after the fire – including Bobby’s Purple Heart.
After months of living in a hotel and several stays in the hospital, Bobby and Michelle were able to return to their home. Not long after, Bobby became a Hospice of the Northwest patient. The Hospice care team learned that Bobby and Michelle had built a community at the local American Legion, and that his honorable military service was a significant part of his life. His team asked if he would like to meet HNW Volunteer and fellow Veteran, Richard. During their first meeting, Richard learned about the missing Purple Heart and the distress its absence brought to their family.
Richard and the care team knew that, because of the generosity of donors, the Hospice of the Northwest Foundation would be able to help them ease the family’s burden.
A replacement for his lost medal was arranged, and Richard and the Care Team were able to surprise Bobby and his family with a small ceremony. “Mama, it’s home!” exclaimed Bobby, filled with emotion.
“He was so shocked,” his wife recalls, “he wanted it in his life so badly.”
Moments like this bring powerful experiences and gratitude at the end of life. The Hospice of the Northwest Care Team is able to help patients and families in this special way because of the generosity of donors like you. Your gifts support vital interventions and cherished moments like these for patients and families.