Lisa Prosser of TriStar Skyline Medical Center is an experienced caregiver – as a nurse since 1985, taking care of others comes naturally to her. So when her father began to exhibit troubling symptoms, Lisa didn’t hesitate to drop everything to drive to Ohio and be by his side.
“My father had fallen three times back in October. They X-rayed him and saw a spot on his kidney, but we thought it was just a kidney stone,” she said. “Because of his underlying health problems, the whole month of November he was in rehab trying to get his strength back up, and then at the first of December, they did a biopsy and said it wasn’t a kidney stone after all. It was an aggressive tumor – he had cancer.”
While her father, Gerald, struggled to fight this terrible disease, Lisa stayed by his side. She ran out of PTO and bills started to pile up due to her reduced income and the added expense of driving back and forth from Ohio to Tennessee. She didn’t know how she would make ends meet. Then she remembered the Hope Fund.
“I have been giving to the Hope Fund for quite a few years now, but I’ve never had to use it. In the leave packet I received there was a sheet saying if you need assistance, you can apply with the Hope Fund. It gave me the idea to apply because I was struggling and getting behind on my bills.”
Lisa submitted an application, and before long she was approved for financial assistance. These funds, given by generous donors across the company, helped to close the gap caused by time out of work and travel expenses to care for her father. When she got the news, she felt “relief – I could make it through another month with my dad. It helped take the burden off my shoulders.”
Gerald was supposed to have surgery at the end of January, but his condition declined and so Lisa and her family kept him home under hospice care. He passed away February 19th, 2019.
In thinking back over her experience with the Hope Fund, Lisa said “I promised my dad I would never put him in a nursing home, and because of the company I work for and the people I work with, I was able to keep my promise. I’ve been a nurse for 34 years and I’ve never worked for a more family-oriented company. The paid family leave is amazing, and my coworkers donated PTO to me, and especially the Hope Fund – all these things allowed me to keep my promise to my father and be there for him in his final days. I just can’t thank my colleagues enough. They were all there for me.”