Category Archives: People Stories

Music And Memory – Changing Lives In Memphis

The Music & Memory Program continues to grow in popularity and effectiveness in more Signature facilities!

MUSIC & MEMORY℠ is a non-profit organization that brings personalized music into the lives of the elderly or infirm through digital music technology, vastly improving quality of life. By training nursing home staff and other elder care professionals, as well as family caregivers, how to create and provide personalized playlists using iPods and related digital audio systems, the Music & Memory team enable those struggling with Alzheimer’s, dementia and other cognitive and physical challenges to reconnect with the world through music-triggered memories.

Recently an amazing story was published telling how at SHC’s Memphis facility, the Music & Memory program enabled a mother and daughter to reconnect after severe dementia had closed off so many other communication channels for years.

You can read the entire article HERE how the Chaplain at Memphis, using Music & Memory, was able to bring connectivity back to this special relationship.

 

 

A Poem Written By Ten Residents . . . “WHEN I THINK ABOUT MY LIFE”

The following was a poem composed by ten different residents at our Winter Park, FL facility.

Ten Residents added one line each to a poem entitled:

WHEN I THINK ABOUT MY LIFE

Carmen   How wonderful it is!

Archie     How the Savior saved me

Betty      If I can get up in the morning, I thank Him

Marge    I thank Him for this life He gave me

Melinda And the wonderful memories

Myra       For my family

Sammie For my children

Betty      And wouldn’t it be perfect if He took the rain away for a day

Carol       I am so thankful for my husband (as he sat next to her)

Beth        and to one day to be able to come and go as I please with purpose.       

 

One poem created by ten poets who listened to what had gone before them and thought about what they could add to this on-going work of art.  This was a powerful reflective exercise that shifted both the spirit and brain into a higher gear.

The simple sacrifice of time has profound impact on patient, family

Doug Hornsby, CEO of Signature affiliate Silver Angels Home Care Services, shares a story about the simple sacrifice of time as a display of compassion and faith…

I want to tell you a story, a love story, one full of magic, simple magic, the magic of love of one person to another with true unconditional love.

Often in life, we are so busy with our own wants and desires that we only get passing glimpses of how God really intended us to live our lives with one another. We lose focus on what really counts in the journey of life. Of course this happens to all of us but I feel it’s a responsibility of all of us to always help each other get back to the way God intended us to live. He wanted us to give and love each other as our highest priority. In fact, in the Christian faith, Christ commands it. He places emphasis that giving and love are the most important commandments.

In July 2010 we took on the responsibility of caring for Ms. Gertrude Gilley of Mountain City, TN. She received all of our services as Shirley Potter became her caregiver. Ms. Gilley has a small family and Shirley quickly became one of them.

Shirley provided her daily care but went above and beyond the care plan. Ms. Gilley had a love for flowers and sunshine. They were very important to her.  Shirley took time to make sure Ms. Gilley had a flower bed well maintained and in full bloom. In the beauty of her flowerbed, Shirley would have a place for Ms. Gilley to sit under her umbrella enjoying both sunshine and the blooms of her roses. When you look at the pictures above, you’ll see Ms. Gilley enjoying both with a smile.

Shirley gave Ms. Gilley the most important thing anyone can give another – time. Not just time, but time where it was only about Ms. Gilley. She let nothing interrupt their time with each other. She gave Ms. Gilley the feeling of being special this way. This is a rare thing today as people only give you glances of time, as they manage their phones and computers while pretending to be with you.

What makes this story better is that Shirley had given herself to Ms. Gilley when she had completed this journey of life and passed on to the next. The story goes this way. Teresa Clark, the Area Director, came to me and said she wanted me to travel to Mountain City and attend Ms. Gilley’s funeral. Teresa was concerned, due to the small size of Ms. Gilley’s family, that there would not be many people there.

So, off we went and as we arrived and entered the funeral parlor, I heard beautiful piano music and someone singing like an angel. When I looked up, it was an angel; it was Shirley, a Silver Angel. Not only was she playing the piano and singing, but entertaining Ms. Gilley’s great grandson. As she would play, he would hit an occasional key and look to Shirley for approval. As the service progressed, the funeral staff and family directed Shirley to her place among the family. As the service ended, we all stood while the family began to exit. Then there was Shirley, walking out with the family behind the casket en route to the grave yard. I stood there so honored and proud to be a member of Silver Angels and a team member of Shirley’s. So, as Ms. Gilley started her new journey, Shirley was there on her own time, singing, making music and entertaining her great grandson.  She was there, standing with the family as Ms. Gilley’s new journey of life began.

Think about it: if Silver Angels never existed, what would have happened to Ms. Gilley? This is one of many stories we have but are often lost or not told.

My belief is that we honored not only Ms. Gilley, but as my faith sees it, we honored Him by loving Ms. Gilley unconditionally. In the end, Shirley gave Ms. Gilley her unconditional love and time. This is just the beginning for Ms. Gilley. What a blessing it is to give and to be a part of a group that puts the mission and vision that we have into action.

Faith, along with action, equals everything that is right about life.

– Doug Hornsby, CEO, Silver Angels

A Story of Inspiration – Jeff Carver and the 2013 Louisville Mini-Marathon

The following, related by Signature HealthCARE stakeholder Rob Carter, is the inspirational story of his friend Jeff Carver:

Jeff Carver: Former Director WFBR 95.3FM, voice of Bullitt East Sports, recovering from severe TBI in summer of 2011 car crash, devoted Christian, Marathoner.

Jeff has 3 children, youngest one being 16 and a wonderful wife (Debora).

Jeff was a fantastic athlete. He participated in a 150 mile bike ride to benefit MS, many marathons and finished the full 2011, 26.2 mile Derby Marathon in 4:03:28. He is the owner of Carver Communications a cellular and paging equipment company.

About one month later during Fathers Day weekend 2011, Jeff had a car wreck that almost ended his life. He now suffers from traumatic brain injury (cerebellar ataxia) that he sustained from his accident. The good thing about Ataxia is that Jeff still has his full memory and intellect, unfortunately the portion of his brain that controls muscle movement no longer functions, there is no cure for Ataxia but Jeff is determined to beat it. For the few months following they were unsure of his future, but Jeff has a determination like no one else I know. He learned to walk again after about a year with the help of a walker or his wife by his side. He falls a lot but keeps saying that “my brain is not going to do this on its own, I will fall many times before I learn how to walk again.”

This year 2013, 2 years after his accident, Jeff is once again finishing the Derby Mini-Marathon. He had the help of some friends, but finished the 13.1 miles in 2:43:59. According to Debora this is the most amazing thing he has done since his accident. Two months ago Jeff bought a Terra Trike and was not able to peddle 4 miles before wearing out. This past Saturday he peddled 13 miles and finished up walking across the finish line. That day Jeff was a celebrity, I don’t think he ever quit smiling and I will say that I had tears in my eyes as I helped him cross the finish line.

I could have run faster on my own, I could have had a faster time but sometimes you need to slow down, help a friend and enjoy the moment. Jeff is my inspiration.

Rob Carter

Here is the Youtube video chronicling Jeff’s great accomplishment:

http://youtu.be/jFkF3QZuBhM

 

“My Miracle of Spring, Part II” by Dianne Timmering

Then the LORD said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions. Exodus 16:4

Team: I wanted you to see this follow-up from the Miracle of Spring Daily D sent earlier this month. Your prayers and tenderness and power of hope in healing goes beyond our four walls. You are a revolution for the impossible because He can do all things.

Let us take a moment today to pray for Shaun Kern, a man in need of a cure for that which the world has deemed inoperable, incurable. May God show the cure to the doctors who surround him. May God bless all of you this day with the miracle hope of a long dead dream, where old promises have weakened and endurance has shut down, where the cells of fatigue are all that remain. Believe today for resolution in a situation in which you have lost faith. Raise up your head and smile at the heavens because Manna comes.

May God bless this man and his family for this kind of impervious faith. Is this the faith of a mustard seed? We are souls praying–many voices, one community of hope, a moving mountain. If we all cry out is it a symphony of certainty for total healing? Are we his shield of protection? Because Shaun reaches out and touches the magnificence of Presence around him will he be instantly well? I believe, yes.

Love to all for the perfect weekend for it is possible. Luke 10:19; Psalm 91 always. Dianne

Your prayer is your power. Pray Ask Receive Restore Heal Miracle Now . . .

On Apr 11, 2013, at 7:33 PM, Karen B. wrote:

Thought you would like to read what my neighbor wrote after reading your Miracle of Spring today.  Melanie’s husband Shaun is 43 and has an inoperable brain tumor, with 3 children under 8.  She keeps a journal on Caring Bridge for all family and friends and her strength and faith are truly an inspiration.  God’s timing is always perfect.  So glad I was able to share this with her today.

Many blessings,

Karen

From: Melanie K.
To: Karen B.

Subject: Re: My Miracle of Spring

Thank you for sharing this. As our friend and Sunday School teacher just checked on us today I said, “Praise God for sunshine, rain, & warmer weather! As I was in prayer for Shaun today a peace came over me as if God was telling me everything’s gonna be alright. I know God is going to allow Shaun to live because researchers are too close to finding a cure.”

You sending me this today is even more confirmation that HE is listening! What a great day!

Love,
Melanie

On Apr 11, 2013, at 2:44 PM, Karen B. wrote:

Wanted to share this.  From VP of Spirituality at Dave’s company

Behold, I make all things new. Revelation 21:5

The miracle of spring always astounds me. Just before it arrives, the world seems gloomy and the trees stretch lifeless into the sky as if hanging on the air for their only balance. The grass is dull and vague and angry, stomped by the weight of heavy cold.

And then the air begins to breathe and the grass freshens, the dew nourishing its frozen paleness. And we have life. The first bud. And then another. The flower blooms, and yellows and pinks begin to live in the wild again, and life arrives. But then life was already going on. Underground, in the air, in the hope of nature, the violin of rain, the cello of the storm, the flute of snow, the viola of the budding seed, which builds into this perfect crescendo of orchestrated love, its symphony entitled: My Miracle of Spring.

Maybe that is how some miracles occur, and some mountains are moved with the faith of a mustard seed, all things working out for the very best good. The law of nature is your miracle proof; it is coming, it must, you asked and it always does.

Love to all. Psalm 91.  Dianne

Dianne Timmering
Vice President of Spirituality

“Opening Doors” by Chaplain Steve McKinney

Being inter-faith here at work has opened so many doors in my ministry. I really was skeptical at first about trying to approach people on neutral ground. But isn’t that exactly how Christ did it? Meeting people where thay are and not where we think they should be. The nuetral ground allows us to “show” the love of God. The good Lord knows sometimes we surely mess up trying to “tell” the story correctly. I’m thankful.

Deb, our housekeeper, has a grandson that has been caught up in the drug problems as are many teens. This weekend he stabbed and killed a local war veteran to death for pain medication. The scene was horrific and one of the worst homicides in our community ever. She is at work today and said she gains strength from knowing that her family here supports her. We are going to have a special prayer with her this afternoon. She is very shaken and distraught but strong in her faith. I know she appreciates your prayers.

Angela, our RSM, is simply a God-send to us. She has such a warm personality and is a Spirit-filled warrior! She and I have done interventions together. We are currently working on a success stroy that is a true miracle of a resident. I will gladly work with her to start any program that will help our elder’s heal quickly and completely.

I truly see Spirituality as the cornerstone for true change in our revolution. I would like for you to also tell how much our facility is able to utilize this pillar in our building. Our mission and vision is about change. So is God’s plan for our lives. Daily renewal and changing our lives so that others can be “new creatures”. Created in His image, I hope we look in the mirror and realize that each day we represent His work!

I am happy to be a reresentative of this company and to know that God has a place in our decision-making and the future of it! God bless you Dianne and all of us that serve!

Steve McKinney, Director of Spirituality
Signature Healthcare of Rogersville

 

The Miracle Story of Baby Athena

Every once in a while there is a miracle that makes you want to stop

and thank God for all the good things he has given us. No more is this true than in the case of little baby Athena from Ormond Beach, FL.

The following is her story as told to the Signature Prayer Chain over a period of almost two months. If you need real life example to inspired you about the wonderful works of God, read on . . .

November 28, 2012:
I would like to ask prayers for little baby Athena. She is currently in a hospital in Miami undergoing further tests. Her blood work is stable at this time. She has not gained any weight and there is still reluctance to operate due to her size. She was originally hospitalized with RSV and the doctors cannot operate until 6 weeks after diagnosis. She is still in congestive heart failure and has a feeding tube. She is unable to drink from a bottle. If they don’t operate she will die, and the risks are great with surgery. Please continue to pray for this precious little child.

December 6, 2012
Baby Athena is scheduled for her heart surgery this Friday Dec. 7th. Please pray for this precious baby that the surgery will be successful and pray for her mom. Athena’s dad is trying to get home from Africa but it doesn’t look like he will be here in time for the surgery. Please lift this family in prayer, as well as the surgeon and the entire team in the operating room’; may God guide their hands during this surgery. I will keep everyone posted on her progress. Thank you for all the prayers, I know that’s what has gotten her through this far.

December 9, 2012
Baby Athena’s surgery was successful! They were able to take her off the respirator within 24 hours which is what they were hoping for. They say she is “feisty” and fighting back strong. Thank you for prayers and please continue to pray for a complete total healing. I will keep you updated.

December 17, 2012
Please let everyone know that baby Athena is home from the hospital! She has no tubes and is not on any medications. She has amazed everyone. This truly is a miracle. Thank you everyone who has been praying for her, and please continue to lift this family in prayer. I know they are very appreciative of the prayers and support they have received.

January 20, 2012
God has answered our prayers for baby Athena – she is just a beautiful baby girl who is eating and gaining weight. The doctors have said there would be no need for any further heart surgery for the rest of her life, it was taken care of! God is wonderful and I thank everyone out there who has prayed and continues to pray for Athena.

Below are current pictures of this little miracle herself:

 

 

 

Signature Home Office Adopts Resident Angels

Last year during her days of service at our Spencer County facility, Home Office Stakeholder Lynn Duvall noticed a need.

Lynn was helping out at this facility which is located close to the home office (where she works in the Accounting Department) when the subject of the approaching Christmas holidays came up.

“There are some residents in this building who have no families to speak of and who very likely will not receive any gifts at all this Christmas” she was told.

That was all she needed to hear.

Working with the Chaplain of that particular building she was able to provide for the needs of several residents last year, and this year she expanded the program outward through the Spirituality Department to include all of the local facilities near the Home office.

Taking the list of names and needs provided via the chaplains, Lynn started emailing coworkers she knew fairly well and asked if they would be interested in providing gifts this Holiday Season for these individuals in time for the gift-giving events taking place in their respective facilities. Once the word got out, the program expanded to include the entire Home Office.

The response was tremendous.

Through word of mouth and emails, Lynn was able to help over twenty local residents who would have received very little this Christmas. The outpouring of love and care from the Signature stakeholders to the precious residents for whom we all care was indeed a wonderful gift.

A Letter to the CEO – Thank You

The following is a letter sent to the CEO Joe Steier:

Joe,

I am Barbara M.’s brother. She is a resident at Four Courts. Remember, I met you several times at your office when it was in Palm Beach Gardens, and we talked about Penn, since we both went to Wharton.

Your facility is second to none. The care my sister receives is unbelievable. It is not only excellent and compassionate, but extremely effective.

My sister came into your facility almost not being able to move any of her limbs. You can see her now cutting and eating her food on her own, and wheeling her own wheel chair down the corridors. With the help of a wonderful woman named Sally, she is now learning to stand. I predict that with her grit and determination, and Sally’s skill and kind heart, she will walk some day.

Words can not express my appreciation for what you have done for my sister, and what you will continue to do. I read on your web site about your plans for the the nursing homes that you are acquiring. If the level of care is the same as Four Courts, then you are truly doing God ‘s work.

Again thank you so much. When I next come up to visit my sister , I will let you know ahead of time so that we can meet again.

With best wishes to you and your family for very happy Holidays and a wonderful New Year,

Harry

 

“Debbie’s Story” by Chaplain Carl Caffrey

This morning the nurse who lost her granddaughter in the gun accident in late June came to me and told me a wonderful story of faith about her daughter, Haylee (who lost her daughter).  The story speaks of the little gift that SHC Cleveland gave their family. She wanted to thank her Cleveland SHC family.

This morning Debbie came by my office and shared this wonderful, powerful story of faith with me. She asked that I would write about it and share it. It is below.

Chaplain Carl Caffrey

Less than two months ago, Debbie, nurse here at Signature Healthcare of Cleveland, lost her precious 3 and a half year old granddaughter, Kydalynne in a tragic gun accident. Debbie’s dear daughter, Haylee, mother of Kydalynne, had a beautiful assurance of God’s comforting presence and of Kyky’s well being in Christ.

A couple of weeks ago in West Tennessee, where Haylee is presently living, a scary summer storm hit the area. Haylee was cooking a meal for her and her boyfriend when the storm grew very strong and blew out the electricity. Everything went dark. The oven off; electric totally out.

Before we move on, I must give a little background to this great story. When Kydalynne passed, Signature Healthcare of Cleveland did not send a Peace Lilly (as is usual), but decided to send Debbie a porcelin Church furnished with a Christmas light (night light), electically powerd, of course. Since Kyky always used a night light, Haylee leaves the little church light on…always.

That night when the storm was really rolling in, Haylee and her boyfriend made their way to the safest part of the house, which was the bathroom. (With all the bad storms that have come through TN in last couple of years, taking cover was the only wise thing to do.) As they made their way through the house to the safe room, they noticed the TV was off (of course, no electricity) and all the lights were off, as expected.

However, as they passed the bedroom where the church was they noticed that a light was on. They were awestruck to find the light in the Church glowing! Yes, the electrically powered little night light was shining brightly! They sensed the presence of the LORD! The Lord was with them through this, and there was also His sweet assurance that Kyky was just fine with her Savior in Heaven.

God is faithful! God is soooo GOOD! God Bless You!