Hospice Supporting Families

By Madison Loethen

Nothing can truly prepare you for the loss of a loved one, but the Cox family will tell you the Boone Health Home Care & Hospice team offered the support they needed during that difficult time.

85-year-old Connie Cox was diagnosed with a Glioblastoma in April 2021 and given a 6-month life expectancy. The Cox family was heartbroken and gathered around Connie to support her.

The Cox family. From left to right: Mark, Melanie, Jerry, Connie and Marty

Connie underwent surgery, radiation and chemotherapy in hopes of adding time to her life, but she and her family ultimately decided to cease treatment and focus on her comfort. That is when the family was first introduced to Boone Health Hospice services.

“Jacqueline came out and spoke with us, and we were so impressed. We talked about mom’s end of life goals, and she helped us process what was going on,” says Connie’s son Mark Cox.

Jacqueline also explained to the family all that the Hospice team would be doing to assist them. The team is composed of nurses, social workers, chaplains, aids, and volunteers all working together.

“Decisions at end of life can be difficult and Hospice is there to guide patients and families, drawing upon years of hospice experience,” says Boone Home Care & Hospice Clinical Manager Jacqueline Fernald, RN.

Boone Hospice is also able to provide specialized equipment such as hospital beds, bedside commodes, wheelchairs and personal care supplies to the patients at no additional cost.

“Our mom was a very strong woman, but she was willing to accept the care and help from the hospice team. My mom loved her whole support team – Melissa, Jacque, Dee, Destiny, Elizabeth, and Ken,” says Mark.

Connie and Jerry on their 66th Anniversary on July 31, 2021.

After 4 months of Connie being cared for at home, the Cox family and hospice team felt it was time to move Connie into a care facility.

“We were so comforted that Boone Hospice would still be with us even after she was moved,” says Mark.

Boone Hospice is able to assist when patients are moved to a care facility by advocating for the patient and family, addressing personal care and comfort, and offering bereavement support.

“We all know that patients and families worry when having to consider moving from their home to a care facility. It is a very difficult decision, so Hospice is there to ease the process,” says Jacqueline.

When Connie’s time came, Boone Hospice was with the Cox family for support.

“They walked us through everything. They encouraged us to keep talking to her and touch her saying she could still hear and feel us. They handled everything with such love and care,” says Mark. When Connie passed, her Boone Hospice aide Melissa prepared her for the funeral home.

Connie at a St. Louis Cardinals baseball game in 2020.

Boone Hospice is continuing to provide care to the Cox family through its bereavement program. Hospice continues to provide bereavement services for 12 months following the patient’s death.

“They still call and check on us and offer support. They’ll pray with us. They’re such a wonderful group of people,” says Mark.

The Cox family was so touched by the program that they gave a generous donation to the Boone Hospital Foundation so that the program could continue to help other families.

“The hospice team offered wonderful support, both medically and emotionally to my mother. They preserved her dignity, and we will always be grateful,” says Mark.

To donate to the Foundation, visit boone.health/foundation or call 573.815.2800

To learn more about Home Care and Hospice, visit boone.health/home-care-and-hospice or call 573.815.0555