ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) — This holiday season KTAB and KRBC are highlighting the stories of Hendrick Hospice and the care they provide patients and their families.
Sandi Saringer has a long history with hospice care in the Key City.
“I was the second Executive Director of Hospice of Abilene,” Saringer says. “We saw our jobs as taking care of people the way you would take care of your family.”
And through her experience, she knew one day she or someone she loves could need the care she provided for so many years.
“I think we all knew that the potential was there for any of us,” she says.
Sandi’s husband John was diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma, a type of kidney cancer.
“The treatment was surgery, and we did that and we were happy and busy and getting on with our lives,” she says.
But that only lasted a few years.
“Ten percent chance of it coming back. But it did, and it came back with a vengeance,” she says.
John and his family managed the disease themselves for as long as they could, but eventually it was time to give John the care he needed.
“Hospice knew things we didn’t know,” Saringer says.
That’s when they crossed paths with Dr. Tommie Farrell, a Hendrick Hospice physician, who says knowledge can go a long way to helping hospice patients and their families.
“Finding what they understand about where things are at. What they understand about their disease,” Dr. Farrell says.
Next it’s about giving the patient options.
“And that can be more focused on trying to get cured and keeping things safe, and that works for a while, and for many people it’s less about trying to fix things and more about, ‘How do I spend more of the time at home instead of in the medical system,” says Dr. Farrell.
For John, it was quality over quantity, as he made sure he could live out his final moments as the best husband, father, and grandfather he could be.
“They really gave us our life back. They really allowed us to live again,” Saringer says.
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