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A golden celebration

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When Franklin and Madoline Varnam were admitted to Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center, no one knew all that would take place in the days that followed. Franklin ultimately was moved to inpatient hospice. Madoline’s condition, however, was much less severe and she simply needed additional monitoring.

During a patient care conference two days later, JeanLynn King, case management supervisor, shared with the care team that it was the Varnams’ 50th wedding anniversary. Knowing that this would likely be the Varnams’ final anniversary celebration, nurses Kim Pollack and Louise Roarty and other staff quickly put the wheels in motion for a golden anniversary celebration. The care team contacted the Varnams’ family and worked together to coordinate a surprise party.

More than a dozen family members and several employees, including Shelbourn Stevens, hospital president, and Stephanie McLeod, senior director of patient care services, flooded into Franklin’s room with Madoline in tow. Complete with cake, flowers, decorations, cards and photographs, it was a true celebration for Franklin and Madoline. The room was full of conversation, laughter and tears of joy as they celebrated a milestone.

Madoline was discharged later that evening and Franklin was transferred to the hospice care center where he passed away a few days later. Photos from the anniversary celebration were shared at Franklin’s memorial service.

“Had we not done this for them, then their last memories would have been of pain and sorrow instead of laughter and joy,” said JeanLynn.

Thank you to all of the Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center staff who were involved in making this day so special for the Varnam family.