Heartland Hospice helps Veteran patient celebrate Christmas
For the City Times
STEVENS POINT – Heartland Hospice helped a local veteran celebrate what could be his last Christmas tree at home.
Tom Mehlbrech, a Navy Veteran and Heartland Hospice patient, spoke to a Hospice Aide (Jennie) about the request. Hearing Mehlbrech’s wish, Jennie knew she had to find the perfect tree for Tom. Not only did she find a tree that matched Tom’s description, but other members of the hospice team wanted to help grant his wish by baking cookies, bringing decorations and spending time with Mehlbrech to celebrate his favorite holiday.
Staff from Heartland visited Melbrech at his home in Wisconsin Rapids and began putting his Christmas tree together in the corner of his living room so that he could enjoy seeing it while watching television. The tree was decorated with lights, along with red, white and blue ornaments in honor of him being a Navy Veteran.
According to staff, Tom was speechless upon seeing his Christmas tree and said it reminded him of Christmas’ from a long time ago. After the decorations were hung, everyone sang Christmas carols together and enjoyed cookies and egg nog.
Melbrech always hoped to visit Lambeau Field, however, with his health declining, the organization sent Melbrech a care package instead. When he received the package at home, he thought it was sent to the wrong person until he read the personalized card addressed to him.
The Green Bay Packers organization sent him a 2016 team autographed football, and a hat, a picture and a blanket signed by Aaron Rodgers.
“It was very heartwarming to help fulfill someone’s last wish. It truly brought tears to my eyes just to see something that what I might think is so simple, brightens someone else’s day,” said Jennie, a Hospice Aide. “It really is about the simple things in life that bring the greatest amounts of joy, which is a great reminder around this time of year.”
Melbrech enjoyed himself, and was brought to tears at the end of the visit by the huge hearts of these ladies and their determination to see his wish come true.