Crossroads Hospice patient Karl Krohn always wanted to get back on the gridiron. A former football player and coach in his native Canada, he reminisced about big wins and unforgettable plays with his care team in Memphis. When it was time to give the 94-year-old a perfect afternoon through Crossroads’ Gift of a Day program, the staff wanted to create a heartwarming hospice patient story by helping him relive those days.
Crossroads social worker Michelle Stamps made it a personal mission to see this dream of a day come to life for her patient. She would see a light come into Krohn’s eyes as he spoke about his days on the field. “Mr. Krohn talked about his old football team like it was his family,” she said. “We wanted to let him know that our community is his family too.”
She reached out to her daughter’s local high school to see if they could participate. The school was more than happy to be a part of this hospice patient story, arranging for players and cheerleaders to welcome Krohn as part of their football family. The coach took Krohn on a tour of the campus, offered him a signed helmet and football and threw a party with treats fit for a team captain. The day was a touchdown, plus some extra points.
The Gift of a Day program asks patients what their perfect day would be. Then staff and volunteers work to make it a reality. The process begins as soon as a patient is admitted into hospice care. It brings out the best in the community, with Crossroads staff, volunteers and area organizations coming together to create special hospice patient stories.The requests have been as varied as the patients Crossroads serves.
It 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.
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