Mercy Health Foundation Mahoning Valley

Sandy got to spend her last months with her beloved husband John in their home because of gifts for hospice

Sandy McLachlan and her husband, John, spent more than 60 years together, and thanks to donors to Hospice of the Valley, they were together until the very end.

They met at a freshman mixer at Mount Union College and became instant friends. Eventually they married, had a family and built a life together.

“We were a team,” Sandy says.

During their Christmas gathering John developed a cough and felt ill enough to lie down for a nap. Sandy went to wake him after the guests left.

“Something had dramatically changed,” Sandy recalls. “He was very close to unresponsive.”

John was placed in hospice care the next day. While he regained some strength and his quality of life was good, John’s overall health continued to decline.

“Hospice made it possible for me to keep him at home,” says Sandy.

Donations for Hospice of the Valley provided nurses, aides and a case manager to help both John and Sandy with whatever they needed over the next 17 months. A volunteer even sat with John so Sandy could take a break and work in the garden.

“That helped my mental health tremendously,” she says.

“He died in my arms with me telling him how much I loved him and how glad I was that I married him. It was a blessing that I thank hospice for because they made it possible for me to do that.”

“It’s the people who donate to hospice that make it possible for the kind of support that I had,” Sandy says. “That’s a tremendous gift. Thank you.”