Often as a response to our patient’s request KeystoneCare may plan a trip, arrange a special visit or serve special food. These occasions are part of our mission to assure end-of-life patients rich and full last days. Here are some stories of very special patients and our efforts to provide them with A Simple Wish.
Jai was a remarkable dancer, ballet master and choreographer who performed for over 30 years with the Paris Opera and other opera houses and dance companies throughout Europe. In June 2004, Jai was first admitted to Keystone House. He was a frail 96 pounds due to his fight with HIV/AIDS and barely able to care for himself.
On August 17th, his 65th birthday, Jai requested to do a final dance for his mother who had never seen her son perform. Keystone staff quickly created a stage, made arrangements for his mother to be brought to Keystone House from Camden, and created an evening of entertainment under the stars for 100 people from the community. Mother and son were finally united, and hearts were touched by the passion of this skeletal figure fighting every move to make this night the dance of his life. That same night, August 17th, Jai was surprised by the opportunity to participate in an aggressive treatment. Although it was a difficult process for several months, Jai grew strong and left Keystone House to live in the community, teach dance to children, and work as a caregiver for those infirmed. Read more about Jai Chestnut.
Dolores, a patient of KeystoneCare, was a lifelong Phillies fan. At the time, she and her family followed the path of a team member, Domonic Brown and enjoyed his success as he moved through the team’s ranks. Meeting Domonic was the last thing on Dolores’ bucket list. KeystoneCare worked to make her dream come true. She had the pleasure of meeting him at her Chestnut Hill home. Domonic brought Dolores a Phillies gift bag, complete with a Philly Phanatic doll and an autographed Domonic Brown Phillies T-shirt and baseball. A special thank you to Domonic Brown and the Philadelphia Phillies for their commitment to their fans!
Mary always loved giraffes ever since she was a little girl, but she and her family never had a chance to visit a zoo. When KeystoneCare staff learned about Mary’s passion for giraffes, they arranged to have Mary and her friends visit the Philadelphia Zoo and meet Gus, their most popular giraffe. Mary and her family had the privilege of setting up the outside space that Gus occupies during the day. She also fed Gus his favorite meal, fresh leaves.
After meeting Gus, Mary and her family spent the rest of the day enjoying the wonderful sights throughout the zoo. A special thank you to the Philadelphia Zoo for welcoming Mary and her family and making their day so special!
Bernice, a patient of KeystoneCare, received a visit from Philadelphia Eagles’ cornerback, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. She and her family eagerly awaited Dominique’s arrival-all wearing Eagles’ attire. Dominique spent a lot of time with Bernice and her family, posed for picutres, and signed autographs for them and their neighbors. Bernice and her family were so grateful that Dominique took the time out to visit! Thank you to the Philadelphia Eagles and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie for supporting their fans and to fulfill Bernice’s simple wish to meet an Eagle!