Hospice Foundation Gives A Special Gift

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Photo courtesy of Hospice Compassus

Lew Goodwin (second from right) on his trip to New York. He is pictured with, from left, brother-in-law Carl, sister Gladys and sister Betty.

The Rim Country Hospice Foundation is perhaps best known for its efforts to get the Hospice House built in Payson several years ago.

While many of the clients of Hospice Compassus (formerly RTA Hospice) are provided the organization’s special services in their own home, some are cared for at Hospice House at 511 S. Mud Springs Road in Payson.

But the foundation’s efforts go far beyond the brick and mortar of the quiet, comfortable facility.

Lois Atkin, a social worker at Hospice Compassus, recently shared this story.

“I have been a social worker at Hospice Compassus for six years and have requested the help of Rim Country Hospice Foundation many times for financial assistance for our patients. Over the years they have granted all my requests and have funded thousands of dollars for our patients’ needs.

“The most recent request was for Lewis Goodwin, who’s dying wish was to visit his sisters in his hometown of Elmira, N.Y. The foundation granted this request and Lew wanted to let the public know how much it meant to him and his desire to thank the foundation publicly,” Atkin writes.

Lew Goodwin of Tonto Basin suffers a terminal illness and is a patient of Hospice Compassus in Payson.

Goodwin’s special request was to see his sisters and say his last goodbyes.

He has lost two wives due to terminal illnesses and exhausted all his funds to provide for their care. So, there were no funds available to pay the expenses for a trip to visit his family in New York.

Goodwin approached his Hospice Compassus social worker Lois Atkin for assistance. Atkin submitted a request to the Rim Country Hospice Foundation. With assistance from Patty Kaufman, foundation liaison, the foundation graciously provided the funds to fly Goodwin and his caregiver to New York.

He was elated with the great news and contacted his sisters to share the good fortune. He was able to visit his sisters and other family members and said he had the best time of his life.

He was also very grateful to have the opportunity to visit the gravesites of his parents, a brother and a son.

Goodwin is well known in Tonto Basin for the many kindnesses he provided to fellow residents down on their luck, as well as his donations to Tonto Basin Fire Department and the Kiwanis Club.

He raised turkeys and pigs on his ranch for many years and had a processing facility on his property, so he was able to provide the processed meat to his fellow residents and donate to the fire department and Kiwanis Club for charity events.

Goodwin is also credited with “hero status” for his many rescues of people stranded in the flooded waters of Tonto Creek. He has pulled hundreds of vehicles across the creek over the years and was very glad to see the relief on the terrified faces of those who were stranded.

Goodwin turned 79 on his birthday in June and was able to celebrate with his family and enjoy the company of his loved ones.

He is a remarkable man who has faced his illness with courage and says that he has been blessed with a wonderful life, is prepared to die and is so very grateful to have his final wish granted.

He said he would also like to thank Hospice Compassus and his home-care team of nurses Caroline Yost and Judy Intrieri, social worker Lois Atkin and Chaplain Charles Wilcox for their special care, kindness and compassion as he faces his final journey.

About Rim Country Hospice Foundation

The Rim Country Hospice Foundation is a non-profit charitable organization. The board of directors is comprised of community-based volunteers who give generously of their time to serve as community resources and raise funds through a variety of efforts.

The goal of the Rim Country Hospice Foundation is to support the hospice philosophy of care, comfort and dignity for terminally ill individuals and their families by providing financial assistance not available elsewhere.

It is committed to assisting with costs incurred by non-funded or underfunded patients. Additionally, it helps fulfill special wishes that will enhance the quality of life of those who are served.

The Rim Country Hospice Foundation is funded solely through the generosity of the community. Since fund-raising began, the Rim Country Hospice Foundation has constructed the Hospice House; it has been able to provide the transportation of families for last visits; assisted with funeral expenses for those less fortunate; it has provided hospice home services, regardless of the patient’s ability to pay and granted countless other special wishes thanks to the community’s help.

Memorial contributions, estate planning and gifts, living trusts and individual or corporate donations are the ways the foundation has generated funds.

Hospice Compassus social worker Lois Atkin said she is extremely grateful to the foundation for granting many requests over the years, providing patients and their families the much-needed relief from financial burdens.

The foundation’s financial intervention helps free the patient and their families from constant worry and anxiety, and allows them the opportunity to focus solely on the care of the patient and the final journey they all must face.

Atkin said the following are just a small example of funds that the foundation has provided to patients over the years:

• The foundation paid for the purchase of a new pellet stove and pellets in order that an elderly patient with a monthly income of only $500 finally had an affordable heat source.

• The foundation paid for the expenses of a patient who lost his home in the Tonto Creek flood. It paid to move the patient to a hotel while another mobile home was located and then paid for the move-in expenses to his new home.

• The foundation has paid for many patients’ telephone and utility bills. Patients must have these services to sustain their lives. For example, patients on oxygen must have electricity, as they are oxygen-dependent for life.

Atkin said that patients and families are so very grateful and appreciative to the foundation for the many services they have received.

Through its generosity and kindness it has lessened many burdens so that the quality of life of the patient is enhanced and their attention is solely devoted to their care and comfort at this very difficult time.

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