The gift that provided clarity during chaos

April 16 is national Advance Care Planning Day

Submitted by Donna Gustavson

Hospice Society of the Columbia Valley

Russ is 58, fit and healthy, an avid skier and road cyclist.

He’s halfway through his morning ride when he’s struck by a passing motorist – boom. He’s immediately comatose and unresponsive.

He’s rushed to Emergency. Tests show he has excessive bleeding in the brain. He’s intubated to help him breathe.

And that’s when Karen, his wife, starts getting the unexpected, life-changing calls.

Tests, scans, and more tests follow. And when all the medical information is compiled and shared with the family, Karen knows there is no hope.

Advance Care Plan made

But Karen already had an incredible gift of love from her husband of nearly 33 years – a gift that enabled her to make a decision on his behalf without conflict or guilt: He had expressed his wishes to family and friends should something medically catastrophic happen. He had an advance care plan.

“He said, if anything catastrophic happens to me, don’t keep me alive; don’t leave me in the hospital. Keep me in the mountains, and by the lake,” recalls Karen. “He made this very clear to us. We all knew that Russ wouldn’t want to be in this condition.”

“It was an incredible gift to me that I didn’t have to second guess what he wanted, or if I would be doing the right thing,” she reflects. “In the chaos, the trauma, the overwhelming emotional turmoil, it created clarity when our lives were turned inside out.”

“It is not easy, but it is vital to have these important conversations with family, loved ones and health-care providers about what your wishes would be. And then, ask yourself — who needs to know? Give your family the gift of a decision already made,” suggests Maria Kliavkoff, Executive Director of the Hospice Society of the Columbia Valley. This process is known as Advance Care Planning.

It’s an ongoing process, a conversation that may change over time….

If you recognize the need and are unsure where to start please register at 778.526.5143 and join us at one of the following locations: Fairmont – April 16 @ 2pm, Invermere April 17 @ 1:30pm, Edgewater April 18 1:30pm, Brisco April 19 @ 7pm or Canal Flats April 20 @ 7pm.

Just Posted

New on-reserve housing for Akisqnuk

Six-plex first of 28 units to be built; first new homes in 25+ years

Slocan Ramblers mosey into town

CV Arts presents Slocan Ramberls Thursday, March 28th

Seniors association advocates for Valley health

Letter-writing campaign underway now

Market move placed on hold

Invermere market will remain in current 6th Ave. location for now

Family loses everything in Canal Flats trailer fire

GoFund me page started for the Soucy family

Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Fundraising campaign launched for man caught in SilverStar avalanche

In only two days, the GoFundMe surpassed its $15,000 goal

Terror at sea: Helicopter rescues frightened cruise passengers in Norway

The Viking Sky cruise ship was carrying 1,300 passengers and crew when it experienced engine trouble

Search and rescue team helicopters injured climber from B.C. provincial park

A 30-year-old woman suffered a suspected lower-limb fracture in Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park

DOJ: Trump campaign did not co-ordinate with Russia in 2016

Attorney General William Barr said special counsel “does not exonerate” Trump of obstructing justice

Trudeau in Vancouver to support Tamara Taggart at Liberal nomination event

The former broadcaster is seeking the nomination for the Vancouver Kingsway riding

Trudeau calls May 6 byelection for B.C. riding of Nanaimo-Ladysmith

The riding opened up when Sheila Malcolmson resigned in January

B.C. VIEWS: The hijacking of our education system gathers speed

Children taught to strike and shout fringe far-left demands

Judges on Twitter? Ethical guidance for those on the bench under review

Canadian judges involvement in community life are among issues under review

Most Read