For hospice patient Rob Guy and his wife Andrea, taking to the sky was a lifelong ritual. Andrea explains, “When we were dating 50 years ago, and of course after we were married, I noticed Rob was always looking skyward and he started teaching me. He knew all the planes, the stars, the constellations, the planets, and more. He taught me and of course the grandkids. To this day I look skyward.”
Rob was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and began receiving hospice care at his home in Big Lake. A retired Big Lake Elementary principal, a science teacher at Sedro-Woolley High School, and Big Lake Fire Commissioner for twelve years, Rob dedicated his life to education and serving the community. If you ask his former students, some of the most memorable days in his classes were during his unit on flight and space – which included building rockets and hot air balloons.
For Rob, and all of our patients, hospice care is about more than dying. At Hospice of the Northwest, end-of-life care is built on the mission of “Compassion and Dignity Every Moment of Life.” Our philosophy centers on quality of life, and the respect and dignity of each patient to define what quality of life means for them. Hospice care is about living each day with dignity and choice.
With their great love of flight in mind, the Hospice of the Northwest social worker, Halley, approached the Foundation to arrange a ‘final flight’ for the family. Thanks to the profound generosity of Corporate Air Center owners Tim Lewis and Ronaye Kos, and their pilot, Brian, the Guy family took to the sky on January 23, 2021. For forty minutes, Rob, his daughter Lisa, and his grandson Koen explored the Skagit Valley by Cessna. They flew over their home in Big Lake, saw Mount Baker at eye-level, and created new memories.
Those with a life-limiting illness are supported by a team of skilled professionals who deliver compassionate care by assisting the practical, emotional, and spiritual needs of their patients. For patients like Rob Guy, flying over the Skagit Valley with his daughter and grandson is not just a pleasant afternoon, it is life-affirming. This flight was meaningful because it honored the patient’s interests, memories, and traditions.
Thanks to donors, compassionate and patient-centered care is always available to anyone in our four service counties (Skagit, Snohomish, Island, and San Juan), regardless of ability to pay. Donations enable hospice patients to receive care that is so much more than the core team support – like this extraordinary flight experience.
To make a donation, click here, or call 360-814-5702.