The Happiest Days of my Life are Here at Home

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November 27, 2019

The Happiest Days of my Life are Here at Home

George Hargraves, 76, grew up with his younger brother, Tom by his side. As adults, the brothers lived together in an apartment on Red Lion Road until Tom took ill and needed specialized care. Tom moved to a residential community while George was left to live on his own. With the help of his friend Joe Glackin, George managed to keep the apartment until he could move to Holy Redeemer St. Joseph Manor (SJM).

When George arrived at SJM, the staff welcomed him warmly. George was nervous and lonely in his new surroundings. After settling into his room, he ventured into the hallway and sat across from another resident in the hall.

“He started talking to me and shook my hand,” says George.

The kind neighbor was, John and he eventually became George’s best friend. John helped George figure out the dining schedule among other things he’d need to know about his new home. After a few conversations the two men realized they had a common connection. John’s sister, Jean worked with George’s brother, Tom for over 15 years. As George adjusted to his new life, he began to make friends with the nursing staff at SJM.

A Near Death Scare

Josephine learned the hard way how to care for the sick and injured. At age 52, her husband Steve suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in a workplace accident. Two years later, he experienced another TBI when he was robbed and beaten. The result was a debilitating seizure disorder that made it impossible for Steve to work full-time. For the rest of his life, Josephine was his caregiver—and the household’s primary breadwinner.

One day while eating breakfast George experienced a horrible and sudden pain. He stopped eating and gripped his chest, unable to talk or call for help. Without hesitation Nadine Pierson stopped what she was doing and ran to George. She called for an ambulance and he was rushed to the hospital. George had damaged his esophagus by eating too fast and needed a lifesaving operation. He made it through with flying colors.

“I’m lucky to be alive,” George says. “I got to Chapel every day and give thanks.”

Family Reunion

George credits Nadine with saving his life. He considers all of the nursing staff to be his sisters. “Maggie, Nadine, Tracey, Ernestine, Pat, Raven, Kathleen in admissions, Rose at the desk, they’re all my family. I love them all,” George says.

But on November 3rd 2018, George’s SJM family got a little bit bigger. After months of behind the scenes paperwork and administration, George’s brother, Tom would be moving to SJM and live right down the hall from his brother.

The staff gathered in the lobby to welcome Tom to his new home and the brothers celebrated the reunion with a special pizza lunch.

“The best thing I ever did for my brother was get him here,” George says.

To learn more about Holy Redeemer Home Care, call 1-888-678-8678.

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Tuesday, December 17, 2019 by Sherry LaRosa, LPN
This is a very touching story. Being a nurse at St. Joe's Manor, I know George and his brother Tom very well. George always greets me by name every time I see him. He's always very pleasant and upbeat. I'm glad that he and his brother were reunited and call St. Joe's Manor "home".

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