Our stories about meaningful experiences are written as they unfold. Therefore, most stories are in the present tense. Some of the patients in these stories are no longer with us. They, and their families, gave us permission to share their experience with you. For those who have since passed, we share these in their memories with deep appreciation for what they have taught us about life and living.
Dec. 29, 2022 Not long after we shared this story, Xzavier Dunham was contacted by Dairy Queen’s corporate office. They had a gift they wanted Mr. Eversole to have. Xzavier and Jessica could have passed it along to Sally or Kelly, to give to Harold. Instead, they took time out of their busy schedule to join Kelly and Sally on one of their visits to see Harold. They made his day by presenting him with a new Dairy Queen sweatshirt.
An even more important update has to do with Harold, Jessica, and Xzavier. They’ve developed a sweet friendship. Harold was so grateful for the complimentary breakfasts from DQ that he wanted to return the favor. He made a batch of homemade soup, with his own home-canned vegetables, and asked Kelly to drop it off to the workers at DQ to express his gratitude and surprise them with a gift in return. Jessica called Harold to thank him. They had a nice conversation, and since then, Jessica has called Harold periodically to ask how he is doing.
We think it’s beautiful that at any stage of life meaningful friendships can be made.
Nov. 29, 2022 Harold Eversole is cared for by our home hospice program. He enjoys entertaining our team with interesting stories about his life.
One humorous story was about the long-running debate between him and his brother over which restaurant made the best biscuits and gravy. Harold loves Dairy Queen (DQ). He had a comprehensive list of good reasons why DQ was the undisputed champion.
Once, during a conversation with Hospice Care Plus chaplain, Sally Iseral, Harold said, “I really would love to find a way to have Dairy Queen breakfast about two times a week.”
Hospice staff are always listening for what’s important to those in our care, hoping to assist them with whatever may bring joy or support quality of life.
Mr. Eversole doesn’t drive. He and Sally looked into using a food delivery service, but found that DQ doesn’t participate.
It seemed like a no-brainer for his hospice team to offer to bring Harold his DQ breakfasts when they came to visit him. Sally came on Tuesdays and Kelly Fitch, his hospice social worker, visited on Thursdays. Sally and Kelly didn’t want him to pay for them, but Mr. Eversole is a fiercely independent man and wouldn’t dream of letting them pay for his meals. Sally researched how much it cost and found that it came to six dollars. Mr. Eversole asked if DQ offered a senior discount.
Sally approached the staff of the DQ closest to him (Keeneland Rd., Richmond) and asked about the senior discount. The day shift manager, Jessica Smith, said the best she could do was 10% but suggested that we talk to the general manager, Xzaviyer Dunham.
When asked if DQ would be willing to discount Mr. Eversole’s meals, Mr. Dunham didn’t skip a beat. He said they would donate them as long as Mr. Eversole wanted them. We are not the only people in the community this DQ gives to. “We try and give back whenever we can,” he said, listing off several charitable causes they had contributed to recently.
We are grateful to Mr. Eversole for letting us share this story about his experience with hospice and to Mr. Dunham and the team at DQ for so graciously sharing their food with one of their biggest fans.
How can you honor life during National Hospice & Palliative Care Month? Visit the #WeHonorLife campaign page to learn about all the ways you can help, from volunteering and shopping to helping us increase access to specialized care for the seriously ill and their families. Questions? Contact us at email@example.com or 859-986-1500 or visit our website.