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

VIDEO: Highway 3A reopened after mudslide cleared

A mudslide closed Highway 3A between Castlegar and Nelson just north of the Brilliant Dam on Wednesday.

Environmental fund celebrates a decade of successes

Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund to continue on indefinitely

Big ideas for small spaces

Canal Flats deliberating new zone for small lot residential

Weekly RCMP Report

A look back at some of the more unusual calls for RCMP this week

Columbia Valley municipalities sign on to RDEK planning agreement

Five year contracts guarantee municipalities a vote on rural planning matters

Lt.-Gov. Guichon believes she made the right decision in last B.C. election

Outgoing Lt.-Gov Judith Guichon said her most memorable moments weren’t surrounding the election

Wartime Wednesdays

Local author Elinor Florence explores the stories of veterans

NAFTA: Talks continue through weekend in scramble to get a deal

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland called negotiations ‘perpetual’

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Pulp mill fined $900,000 for leaking effluent into B.C. lake

Mackenzie Pulp Mill pleaded guilty to depositing deleterious substance into water frequented by fish

B.C.’s 2-year lobbying ban starts May 1

Office of the Registrar of Lobbyists can grant exemptions from the prohibition if public interest

Horgan speaks of government’s successes to ‘friends’ at CUPE BC convention

CUPE BC president Paul Faoro said was first time a B.C. premier addressed convention in some time

Speed Skating Canada fires coach Michael Crowe after investigation

Crowe was a coach on the American team from 1983 to 1991 and again from 1999 to 2006

5 things to know about the ongoing influx of asylum seekers in Canada

Number of illegal border crossings are up this year – as RCMP, military, politicians try to combat

Most Read