Light Up a Life: remembering Charlene Merrell

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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – This holiday season we’re sharing the stories of Hendrick Hospice and the care they provide to their patients, all part of their Light Up a Life campaign.

KTAB/KRBC crews got the chance to speak with a woman who lived to be 100 years old before her passing as she explained her last months in the loving care of Hendrick Hospice.

It’s not every day that you live to be a century old, but for Charlene Merrell, she lived it to the fullest.

“I grew up on a farm in Alabama,” said Merrell. “My daddy had 800 acres and I guess I would go all over that 800 eventually, getting into fruit and watermelons and just enjoying it.”

Fast forward several years later, Merrell living in Abilene with kids, but as she explained she never quite forgot those rolling hills of the Yellow Hammer State.

“I have really good memories living on a farm,” said Merrell.

Those memories stuck with her until the end as she battled Metastatic Cancer.

“They told me that I had cancer in my spine and the nurse came the very next day to see me and I was really surprised,” said Merrell.

After the shock died down, Charlene and her family know there was only one place where she could go to get the care that she needed.

“I’ve never known people with hospice but they were the very last of their illness and so I was so shocked when they came,” said Merrell.

“By the fact that mother went on Hospice when she did. She got the benefit of the entire team,” said Charlene’s daughter Patricia Egdorf.

“They have made my having cancer so much easier,” said Merrell.

“She feels like she can talk to all of those hospice team members they’re friends. I feel like I can talk to them and they’re wonderful,” said Egdorf.

Egdorf says the nurses soon became like a second family to her and her mother as they cared for her in her home until her passing.

“To have hospice to take care of me is just wonderful,” said Merrell.

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