A salute to healthcare workers at Thanksgiving

Published 4:00 pm Friday, November 26, 2021

I have a Thanksgiving letter to write this year that recognizes members of our community who have made such a difference in the life of my brother.

In October 2020, my brother Gary Beach, was diagnosed with COVID-19. He was admitted to KDMC, was ultimately intubated and spent eight long months on the ventilator.

During that time, he was transferred to other acute care facilities for care. We never gave up on him and HE never quit fighting. He told me before he was intubated that he “wanted to live.”

I cannot tell you how many times physicians called to question his code status, to question the decisions we were making because he was so very sick.

Gary has always been a faithful, man of God. He never stopped praying. He never lost his faith in his family and those who were caring for him.

He was admitted to Trend Nursing Rehab in Brookhaven in June of 2021. He had not eaten anything by mouth in over 8 months. He had lost nearly 100 pounds. He was not strong enough to even lift the remote for the television. He could barely move his feet, much less stand and walk.

Today he is able to stand and walk with assistance, he is eating regularly and gaining weight.

This Thanksgiving he will be spending the day with his family at home in Brookhaven.

He will continue to work with the staff at Trend until his official discharge.

We are thankful for every person who has cared for him, who fought for him, who understood when we said “do everything you can!”

We have a new respect for the skilled nursing facility personnel who had the patience to encourage our loved one and bring him back to us.

This Thanksgiving we salute the healthcare workers who have brought our loved one home!

Helen Spence,

Brookhaven