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Gifted Wishes: Flowers to brighten John’s day

Updated: Jun. 11, 2021 at 2:13 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - All this week we are profiling a compassionate program offered to patients of Unity Hospice, and supported by generous community donors.

The program is called Gifted Wishes, and the goal is simple, to grant hospice patients one final wish.

Today, you’re going to meet a Green Bay man who now has many colorful reasons to smile every time he steps outside.

Unity social worker Kang Vang started working with John Lund about six months ago.

And it didn’t take her long to discover John’s passion.

“He often talks about memories, reminiscing of memories about planting flowers with his parents, walking in the swamp looking for flowers,” says Vang.

It’s hard though, for John to enjoy flowers the way he used to.

“About a month ago he had talked to me about how he used to visit the Botanical Garden several times a year but due to his decline he’s not going to be able to do that much longer and he does not think that he would be able to visit soon,” says Vang.

With that in mind, she had an idea.

“Then the thought came to my mind that with the help of the Gifted Wishes program we could bring the flowers to him,” says Vang.

Outside John’s residential care facility in Green Bay, Unity Hospice volunteers are on a mission.

“The plan of attack is, you know what, do what makes John happy right, so he enjoys flowers, so get a feel for him on what he loves and what he might want to see first when he looks out the window or comes to the door, and so we just coordinated efforts and asked him some of what his favorites were and we went from there,” says Unity Volunteer Terry Adams.

For volunteers like Adams, Unity’s dedication to compassionate end-of-life care is an inspiration to give back.

“Unity is a really great organization, I volunteered other places but by far they care so much about their patients, about their volunteers and they’re hands on, and so it just motivates you to help, you want to help and you want to make people feel better and feel well,” says Adams.

Watching his porch beautified, John is offered a special treat.

“Do you want to plant some seeds too, just like how you did when you were younger?,” asks Vang.

The volunteers have seeds of John’s favorite flowers, 4 o’clocks, and he gets busy planting.

“He’s a pro,” remarks Adams.

Another gifted wish is granted.

“Give our patients the quality of life that they so deserve, because we don’t know how much time there is left and it is such an honor to be able to make them smile and bring this joy,” says Vang with smile.

For more information on Gifted Wishes and how to help support the program, visit https://unityhospice.org/giftedwishes/

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