Hospice patient basks in Grant-a-Wish spa package
When cancer patient Savannah Gray learned that Lincolnland Hospice’s Grant-A-Wish program provides end-of-life wishes, she opted for plan B — a special spa day complete with customized home treatments including an artistic manicure and pampering pedicure.
Plan A would have been a trip to Florida, but the young woman wasn’t strong enough for the trip.
So she hunkered down for her final months to spend time with her family, continue to see her doctors at Sarah Bush Lincoln, bond with her caretakers and ultimately, face the reality that she would need hospice care after struggling to accept her fate.
Diagnosed with aggressive ovarian cancer, Gray underwent surgery, chemotherapy and even a stem cell transplant to no avail. Finally, after a trip to the emergency room, Gray came to understand that hospice meant more than just the very end.
“It was a whole new way of thinking to wrap her mind around,” Savannah's mother, Sharon Hammock, said. She and the rest of her family gave credit to Lincolnland Hospice of Sarah Bush Lincoln for letting Gray live her final months as fully as possible with loved ones.
“Savannah’s hospice nurse was fantastic,” Hammock said, referring to Michelle Homann-Kersey. “Her nurse helped her make peace with her condition emotionally.”
Even as her condition worsened, Gray never gave up. She coped with hair loss by alternately shaving her hair short and dyeing it fantastic colors. She was so pleased with her manicure that she showed off her fingertips for weeks.
Gray passed away peacefully in her sleep in late March at age 30, her final days enhanced by hospice.
“She never, ever gave up hope, and she joked and kidded with us until the very end,” her mother said. “Hospice made her journey a little easier and for that we are very thankful.”
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Mattoon, IL 61938