Pamela Smith with her mother Pat, her father and another family member.

My mom, Patricia Smith, endured more than thirty years of poor health.

Twenty years ago, the tibia in her leg disintegrated, resulting in amputation.  About eighteen months ago, Mom began experiencing extreme pain in her other leg.  We were shocked to learn that Mom had cancer in her blood and bone marrow and she was too ill to withstand treatment. 

That night, Mom ended up in ICU. The doctor suggested moving her to a palliative care bed. I immediately reached out to the Dorothy Ley Hospice for help. Thankfully, a bed became available the following day, and, at last, Mom was where she needed to be.

Through the period leading up to that day – doctors’ appointments, personal support workers coming every other day, a hospital stay, and trying to keep up with my clinical practice – I was doing my best to take care of my dad who suffers from dementia. The intake process for the Hospice was so easy and seamless in comparison, and the staff were on hand every step of the way. Everything changed at the Dorothy Ley Hospice. Our family was able to just be together.

Thanks to the compassionate care provided by the hospice, we were able to have those memorable ten days together with Mom without the distraction of responsibilities. Being surrounded by the beauty, love and respect that embraced us allowed us to focus on each other. I will never be able to adequately express my gratitude for all they did for us.

Mom began to decline cognitively. The team at Dorothy Ley suggested telling her stories, playing music she liked – things that would calm her. The staff and volunteers were aware of “Mr. Smith’s” (my dad’s) dementia. They ensured he was safe and cared for, and made sure he ate. So, I was comfortable leaving him in their care to attend to my work responsibilities.

On July 3rd, I received the call from Marsha.  It wouldn’t be long. Dad and I sat with her quietly until she took her last breath. I told her what a great mom she had been, that we would miss her, and that I would take care of Dad (the love of her life).

We were blessed to be in the best possible hands. The Dorothy Ley Hospice brought peace to our family – in the right place at a bad time – the most beautiful place you never want to be. My family will be forever grateful.


Pamela Smith, Patricia’s Daughter

Patricia Smith and her husband.
A picture of Patricia Smith when she was younger.
Pamela's mother, Patricia Smith


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