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Friday, April 22, 2011

Bethel Hospice Patient Gets Visit from Cincinnati Zoo

Consider This Clermont

Written by Mary Dannemiller 

Crossroads Hospice patient and 85-year-old Bethel resident Kathryn Beighle is fascinated by all creatures with scales, feathers and fur.

Crossroads Hospice social worker Teresa Henson and patient Kathryn Beighle look at Chris the armadillo held by Peggy Munson of the Cincinnati Zoo’s Wildlife Comes to You program. (Thanks to Crossroads Hospice for submitting this photo.)

As a resident of Morris Nursing Home, her favorite activity is watching the Animal Planet network and learning more about animals from around the world. For Beighle’s Gift of a Day, Crossroads Hospice brought the animals to her with a visit from the Cincinnati Zoo’s Wildlife Comes to You program.

Created by Crossroads Hospice, the Gift of a Day program asks patients what their perfect day is and staff and volunteers work to make it a reality. The process begins as soon as a patient is admitted.

Throughout the day, Beighle and fellow residents interacted with reptiles, birds and other creatures. While some residents were timid, she volunteered to touch a baby alligator, armadillo and snake without hesitation.

“The Gift of a Day program brings out the best in the community, with Crossroads staff, volunteers and area businesses coming together to create special moments for these seriously ill patients,” said Lee Ann Taylor, executive director for Crossroads Hospice’s Cincinnati office. “The requests are as varied as the patients we serve, challenging us to find creative ways to bring about a perfect day. The Gifts have brought smiles, tears, laughter and joy to countless terminally ill patients and their families.”

The Gift of a Day program was inspired by Jim Stovall’s novel, “The Ultimate Gift.” Blind from age 29 due to a degenerative eye condition, Stovall went on to become an International Humanitarian of the Year, a national Olympic weightlifting champion, Emmy-award winner, world-renowned author and speaker.

To read more about Ultimate Gift experiences visit For more information about Crossroads Hospice, call (513) 793-5070.

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