Media release: What began as an effort to fulfill a last-minute request from her son has turned into a ministry for Mary Womack to bring joy to loved ones and their families struggling with cancer and to help Cancer Navigators.
Four years ago,Womack’s son asked her to make a holiday wreath for Cancer Navigators’ annual wreath auction while his wife was being treated for colon cancer. “I asked him when it was due, and he didn’t know. I found out they were due the day before he asked me, so I hurried up and did one,” Womack said.The next year, someone from Cancer Navigators called Womack.
“They asked how many I would like,” Womack said. Cancer Navigators provides unadorned wreaths that can be decorated by its artistic supporters. “I said, ‘You can give me those wreaths?’ and I said I will start with six.”
This year’s wreath auction has already begun. Community members are invited to participate in the silent auction by writing down their bid on the form accompanying the wreath or wreaths they want. The silent auction ends at 1 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 2, with the highest bidder winning the wreath.
The wreaths will be on display through Dec. 2 at the Harbin Clinic Tony E. Warren, M.D. Cancer Center during regular business hours, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday and in the Wright Art Gallery at Floyd Medical Center near the Gift Shop on the second floor. Some wreaths are also on displayat Cherokee Medical Center in Centre, Ala.
Womack asked for 15 bare wreaths this year. She estimates she has created about 30 since she first started four years ago. The den in Womack’s West Rome home becomes a workshop as she makes her holiday masterpieces.
“For each wreath I do, I do them for a special person who is either in my church or like my daughter-in-law, who I know. And I do them in their personality.”
She said she puts the wreaths on her floor with the accompanying decorations. Sometimes she will let them sit for a couple days to make sure they are just right. After the wreath is finished, Womack takes a picture of it and gives it to the person she made it for or to their family member.
“We greatly appreciate Mary’s continued support of the wreath auction and for all of the time, effort and creativity she puts into each and every wreath she creates,” said Sarah Husser, Fundraising & Community Outreach Coordinator for Cancer Navigators. “The thought and detail she gives to decorate wreaths that reflect the personalities of specific individuals is amazing!”
Media release: A nurse with Heyman HospiceCare at Floyd will forever be remembered by a family for her tender care and compassion during a week that saw them say farewell to two loved ones.
A family member describes Terra Jones, the latest DAISY Award recipient, as a “beautiful, angelic nurse.”
The DAISY award, which is recognized internationally, was established by the family of Patrick Barnes after he died from an auto-immune disease while being treated in a Seattle hospital. His family was thankful for the care he received and created the award to thank bedside nurses for the job they do. The family came up with DAISY– an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System.
Jones formed an instant bond with her father the first day she visited him at their home, his daughter said. When Jones learned her new patient was a football fan, they shared team facts and football history. The patient’s daughter said Jones showed her father respect for what he knew and built a bridge of trust between them.
“We had never seen our dad sick, so all of this was new and very scary to us,” said the patient’s daughter. “Terra was always patient and reassuring of our doubts.”
Jones also coached the patient’s wife to talk to her husband, sharing all that he needed to hear and all that was on her heart.
“Mom did just that. What a beautiful farewell message she spoke. It was funny, yet sweet and unforgettable,” the daughter said. “She told him how much she loved him and yet she was mad at him for going first; but for him to go on ahead, meet Jesus, and watch for her because she would be coming soon. ‘It won’t be long,’ she firmly stated, ‘I am right behind you.'”
The day after her patient died, his wife fell and hit her head, sustaining a massive brain bleed. She also became a Heyman HospiceCare patient. Jones visited the family in the hospital, this time not as a nurse, but as a friend and the gentleman’s wife fulfilled her promise to her husband, passing just one week after her husband.
“To our family, Terra was not just a nurse, a medical professional or a family advocate. We were not just another family with a dying loved one. We were people in need and she was our angel. Our vessel of mercy,” the patient’s daughter said. “She was our DAISY.”
Along with a DAISY pin, Jones was also presented with a sculpture entitled A Healer’s Touch. Each piece is hand-carved for the DAISY Foundation by an artist of the Shona Tribe in Zimbabwe.