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Patient Stories

Cardiac Program Support Enables Patient to Fulfill Dream of Family Reunion in Egypt

Clair Menyas, 80, of Burlington suffered from heart disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease for more than 12 years. Many times, it was overwhelming for her to make the short walk from her bed to the bathroom without help. She eventually had heart surgery in 2010, which helped stabilize her, but over time her condition weakened.

In October 2020, after Clair had been hospitalized for 15 days, her son, Wagih Morcos, raised the idea with her physicians of bringing his mother home on hospice care. “Our family could not imagine my mother recovering in a nursing home, where we couldn’t visit her due to precautions during the COVID-19 pandemic,” he says. “Her doctor recommended Care Dimensions so we called for help bringing her home.”

In addition to adjusting her medications to provide better pain relief and management of her other symptoms, her hospice care team immediately identified her for our specialized cardiac program, designed to help patients control their symptoms of heart disease and reduce crisis situations and visits to the hospital.

“The team thought Clair would benefit from the daily monitoring to supplement the measures we were taking to help her manage her pain and symptoms,” said Anne O’Connor, her RN case manager. Clair’s hospice team also arranged for a hospital bed, wheelchair, and a commode to ease her daily needs.

Daily Monitoring Key to Avoiding Crises
The team installed the telehealth devices and taught Clair how to track her vital signs and symptoms. Every morning Clair followed the voice prompts to collect the three measurements for the telemonitoring device: pulse, blood pressure and weight. Her readings were transmitted to the Care Dimensions office and reviewed by a nurse. If any of the three readings were elevated, the nurse alerted Anne that there might be an issue and that she needed to call or visit to review Clair’s condition.

“We want cardiac patients to look forward to each day without worry, stress or pain,” O’Connor says. “It comes down to keeping Clair comfortable, which also depends upon daily management of her diet and fluid balance and fine-tuning her medications to manage symptoms.”

“God bless this company,” Wagih says. “Every day Annie checks on my mom’s health. Because Care Dimensions helped manage my mom’s pain, she’s walking again, going outside, and taking an interest in living again.” In time, Clair felt so good she told her family she was ready to take a trip to Egypt to reunite with her siblings that she hasn’t seen in years.

Getting Stronger and Making Memories
Her Care Dimensions team was happy to help make her dream a reality. Anne coordinated the medications Clair would need for the duration of her three-month trip, while her social worker, Susan Ladd, arranged for the letter to authorize intercontinental transport of her medications.

“This is really a miracle,” Wagih said. “My mom is independent and able to move and make her own decisions confidently. And she can go home to see her family again, pain free. Hospice really works miracles.”

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Since 1978, Care Dimensions, formerly Hospice of the North Shore,  has provided comprehensive and compassionate care for individuals and families dealing with life-threatening illnesses. As the non-profit leader in advanced illness care, we offer services in over 100 communities in Massachusetts.

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