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One More Ride
Submitted by: Heart’ n Home Hospice & Palliative Care

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One More Ride

Eva was beloved by the staff of Heart ‘n Home Hospice & Palliative Care, and was known for her sweetness. You would never guess that Eva was a rebel in disguise. She was a self-proclaimed, “rough and tough, fiery redhead”.

Rebel without a cause.

During her younger years, Eva was active and adventurous.  You could find her cruising down an open road on a Harley Davidson motorcycle, sporting a tattoo to highlight her renegade persona.  She loved the sense of freedom she felt when she thundered down a back road or open highway. Eva would maintain her love of excitement, even in the face of a terminal diagnosis.

Remembering the open road.

Eva was diagnosed with heart failure and eventually elected hospice in February, 2014. During her time under hospice care, she grew close with her hospice Certified Nursing Assistant (CAN) and the nurses who cared for her. She often shared stories from her riding days and how much those memories meant to her.

Eva’s wish.

One day, one of Eva’s nurses posed the question, “Is there anything you dream about doing, even if it was just one last time?” Without hesitation, Eva answered, “Ride a Harley…although I don’t even think it would be possible for me to get on one at this point.” At this point, Eva was having more bad days than good days. But despite this challenge, her hospice team began to think of how they could help Eva climb back onto a Harley for one more ride.

Making #moremoments possible.

Heart ‘n Home contacted a local Harley shop and shared Eva’s story. Eva’s hospice team was able to coordinate a date and time for her to be taken on a ride on the back of a motorcycle. Unfortunately, when the big day arrived, Eva’s symptoms kept her from participating. But a few days later, Eva’s caregiver called to let hospice know she was having a good day. Eva’s hospice team seized the opportunity and a “last minute ride” was arranged.

One more ride.

Eva could barely contain her excitement as she waited for her adventure to begin. And when the red, shiny, three-wheeled Harley pulled up to the curb, her expression said it all. This photo captures Eva before a five mile motorcycle ride. Those who were a part of this moment describe her smile as being “as big as the State of Texas”.

Following the ride, Eva constantly spoke about her experience and how much it meant to her. Her hospice team took care of every last detail and provided Eva with a picture of the ride, which found a home on the nightstand next to her bed.

Remembering Eva’s last ride.

Eva died peacefully a few months after the ride in June, 2014. Her hospice team had also captured Eva’s special moment on video and provided the recording to her granddaughter. Her granddaughter cherishes the video of Eva’s last ride and can watch it anytime she wants to celebrate her grandmother’s life.

The Hospice Mission.

The actions of the staff at Heart ‘n Home Hospice & Palliative Care are a perfect reflection of the hospice mission in action. Eva’s experience shows how hospice care goes above and beyond what is expected, in order to enhance the life of a patient. Hospice care helps make more meaningful moments possible.  Eva’s hospice team feels blessed that they had the opportunity to help a patient truly live despite her terminal diagnoses.  Her story is just one of the many examples of compassionate care made possible by hospices, nationwide.

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