by: Carol Jewell, Hospice Volunteer Coordinator
Frank “Shottie” Dalrymple began volunteering with Hospice of NGMC in January 2003. He has faced many challenges and obstacles, but has never wavered in his commitment or passion to care for people in the community who are in the last months of life.
When Shottie found out that he had a terminal illness a few years ago, he knew that he would eventually face the decision to use Hospice services. This did not deter him from continuing to volunteer with Hospice. In fact, he was determined to serve hospice patients as long as he could – until it was his turn to receive service rather than provide service.
With his own life running out of time, Shottie spent hours at the bedside of other patients facing the same end. He visited to provide companionship, to show patients that you are still somebody, even in the midst of dying; you matter and you are not alone. Shottie provided peace, hope and presence to the patients he served. In the meantime, maybe he learned a lesson to apply to his own situation – a lesson about the whole process of moving on.
Shottie’s passion and commitment to serving his community makes him a true Life Hero. Even in the midst of his own decline, he chooses to press on. He chooses to follow through, to be consistent, persistent and loyal.
Shottie is now a patient with Hospice of NGMC, but he continues to volunteer. Staff members have visited Shottie in his home, and he often still wears his Hospice volunteer badge because he says it helps him press on.
“After I was first diagnosed with my illness in December 2010, I was almost gone,” Shottie says. “I lost 45 pounds and didn’t care about anything. Not only was I dying, I was doing it poorly. I decided it was time for Hospice care, and now I’m doing well.”
Shottie believes other people who face situation similar to his would benefit greatly from using Hospice of NGMC.
“I wish they would give it a chance,” he says. “It will make the outbound trip smoother for the patient and their family. Hospice helps the family to be able to care for their loved one. Both the patient and the patient’s family are best served by getting help, professional help, Hospice help.
“With Hospice of NGMC, you don’t just buy a service; you buy a concept of care to keep you in the fold – to help you fight to stay active in the midst of dying. It matters which hospice you choose, so don’t just pick one out of the phone book.
“I can tell you from experience, as a patient and as a volunteer, Hospice of NGMC is a good one!”