A Little Chocolate, A Lot of LoveBy Seasons | August 08, 2017
We recently cared for a patient who had a very special impact on one of our staff members. While our social worker Laura’s acts of service for this patient went above and beyond, this type of care is what our patients have grown used to from our staff.
This patient’s story touched us immediately and we just knew we had to go the extra mile for him. He came to us with terminal cancer, alone, with no family connections. Laura says she was saddened when she saw the dire conditions in which she found him living upon starting service with Seasons.
“When I first visited his home for the assessment, he didn’t have a working phone and was sleeping on a stained mattress. He was too weak to move without assistance and too proud to ask for help,” she said.
Laura saw a quiet man who needed a friend as his time on Earth was coming to a close, so she sat down and learned more about him.
Sensing his loneliness, Laura made a special effort to have long chats with him each time she visited him.
During one of those visits, Laura found out he adored chocolate and used to make it on his own, according to an old Mexican recipe. That’s when Laura started thinking about how she could make this patient smile again, before he died.
“You should have seen his face light up when he first asked me, in his heavily accented English, ‘Do you like good chocolate?’” she said.
Laura immediately thought of a local restaurant she loved called Eclipse Chocolate.
“They turn chocolate into an art form. I knew that they were going to be my experts in helping me fulfill his dying wish. I remember calling the manager and having a “consultation” with him about fine Mexican chocolate. We spent so much time talking about what chocolate the patient might enjoy,” she recalled.
Eclipse Chocolate put together some soft truffles that he could eat without difficulty, and some authentic Mexican hot chocolate to go with it; on the house. Laura didn’t waste any time bringing it all to her patient, knowing he had just hours to live.
“He just declined so rapidly. I was nervous to get this right for him and was so afraid that I’d miss my window of opportunity to find him still conscious, so I called my babysitter and had her come over to watch my kids then drove to see him around 8 at night. I’m so glad I did. Chocolate was the last thing he ate. It was worth it so he could have this last pleasure,” she said.
The night: a whirlwind of emotion. But to this day, Laura’s heart warms when she thinks of her chocolate loving patient and how she was able to fulfil his final wish before death.
“He stole and then broke my heart. Eat some really good chocolate in his honor!” she said.