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Edna's Story

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Edna Cox

     Edna Cox was one of my first patients when I started my work at Hospice of Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC).  I assumed my first visit to her home would also be her last, as she had just returned from the hospital and was very ill.  That was the first of many times I underestimated Edna Cox!

     It wasn’t long before Edna demanded her hospital bed be dismantled so could be back in her own bed taking care of herself.  She is a very independent 92 year-old who takes great pride in her ability to care for herself while her primary caregiver works.  Edna is legally blind and hard of hearing, but we learned quickly how to communicate with each other during my visits.

     Edna shared stories about her husband, Dewey, and her only child, Lillian, both of who passed away many years ago.  She told me stories about falling out of a second-story window when she was a toddler (resulting in a severe head injury), not walking until she was in kindergarten, working in town to make extra money and the pain of losing her only child.  I learned that this amazing woman had lived a life full of hard work, love and tragedy.  Edna and I have spent hours together and she is open and honest with the kindest heart.  She never complains and she has told me innumerable times that her most important goal is to always be able to take care of herself.  She inspires me week after week.

     As Edna’s 90th birthday approached in September 2007, I asked her if she was having a party to celebrate her big day.  I was shocked when she told me she had never had a birthday party!  With the help of her nurse, hospice aide and other staff members, I organized the birthday party she deserved.  Edna was excited that so many people took the time to her celebrate.  She was so proud of her cake, gifts and guests.  Edna told me, “Hospice of NGMC is like my family.”

     We have since celebrated Edna’s 91st and 92nd birthdays, and she is already planning her 93rd.  Her amazing and resilient spirit fills me with hope, and I treasure our special relationship.

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If you have a fever and cough or difficulty breathing, these steps will help you find the care you need and limit the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in our region:

  • Call before you come

    Please call your doctor's office or an urgent care clinic for advice about where you should go for treatment.

  • Call 9-1-1 for emergencies

    Calling 9-1-1 is always the fastest and most efficient way to get proper treatment for medical emergencies.

  • Consider staying home and taking advantage of an E-Visit

    When symptoms strike, connect with a provider through an E-Visit instead of traveling to the urgent care or the doctor’s office.

    Learn more about E-Visits from these area practices:

We want to thank our community and local businesses for their amazing generosity during this time. Here are some ways you can support our community and staff:

  • Donate items and resources

    We are currently receiving donations of items and other resources through the Foundation. Learn how to donate resources and other needed items by clicking here.

  • Sew Masks for Healthcare Workers

    Many people in our community are sewing masks for our healthcare workers. We have created some mask sewing instructions and information about drop-off locations. Get detailed mask-making instructions here.

  • Send a Digital Letter

    We would like your help making digital letters for the residents at New Horizons Nursing home. Email a letter to NewHorizonsAdmin@nghs.com and we will hand them out to our residents and staff to enjoy.

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19, so the best way to avoid infection is to avoid exposure. It is always a good idea to keep your guard up—and not just against this virus.

Here are other simple steps you can take to lower your risk of catching or spreading illness.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after touching tissues.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces to help prevent the spread of germs
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are ill.
  • For those who plan to travel, the CDC offers specific guidance about avoiding COVID-19.

Learn more by visiting the CDC COVID-19 website.

In late January, NGHS created a Coronavirus Task Force including leaders from across the system to begin preparing for the possibility that our facilities and staff may see patients with COVID-19.

We have been following the guidance of the CDC and are working to ensure staff are diligent in following standard protocol to ask patients about their travel history. In the event that additional preparation is needed, this team will move swiftly to follow any new guidance.

About COVID-19 Testing:

NGHS has the ability to coordinate testing at some of our locations. Please call your doctor's office or urgent care clinic for advice about whether testing is right for you. Recently we implemented a new E-Visit specific to the Coronavirus.

Learn more about E-Visits from these area practices:

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