In December 2019 caregiver Nakiea found herself by her husband’s side in a local hospital where he was unconscious and deteriorating rapidly. Nakiea reached out to her husbands VA medical center some three hours from their home in Oklahoma City, only to learn they would reject taking her husband for care. This became exhausting for Nakiea making phone calls to figure out how to get her husband transferred to his VA medical center only to keep reaching dead ends. Nakiea reached out to our organization and as such we made several phone calls that resulted in a more immediate response from the VA medical center Oklahoma City. They determined that the veteran needed care they could not provide at that time so they made arrangements to life flight him to Ft Worth Texas, where he would remain for nearly two weeks.
Nakiea had needs that were not being met at the hospital and she was not willing to ask. Our team following up felt it worth networking to provide a safe place for her to shower, receive meals and pastoral care.
Our team went to work utilizing a map and google search to obtain a list of resources that would provide more support than Nakiea has experienced in her tenure as a caregiver to her Richard.
We were able to connect with the Ridglan Christian Church for shower services. The Vietnam Veterans of America Texas State Council provided hot fresh whole meals, which we learned was a big blessing as the cafeteria services were not available in evenings or weekends at the hospital. And the Naval Air Station sent over pastoral care services who connected to the group Roll Call who provided a support person to sit with Nakia’s husband while she drove five hours to pick up some items her veteran needed to be able to return home.
These services put in place were able to sustain Nakiea through the journey of getting her husband well and returned home by Christmas.
One of the most notable comments from Nakiea about this experience was as follows
“you have no idea what this all means to me, there was a time where we were in the hospital before and someone offered to bring me a hamburger after seeing a post I made on Facebook. That post was taken down before that person could bring me the burger and that made me feel abandoned. This experience has taught me the value of asking for help and trusting that it would be there when I needed it most.”