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Shirley’s Colleagues Gave Her Hope When She Needed It Most

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At some point in our lives, we all experience the pain of losing a loved one. We can relate to and support one another during these trying times. But no one ever expects to lose a child who you have loved and raised.

This is what happened to Shirley Hagen, a radiology coordinator at West Valley Medical Center in Idaho. Due to Shirley’s daughter experiencing some health battles, Shirley has been raising her three teenage granddaughters, Maleeka, Gabriella, and Isabella. On a Friday just after getting home from work, Shirley received a call – her oldest granddaughter Maleeka was in a fatal car crash.

Shirley said, “The devastation was unfathomable.” Maleeka had graduated the previous year, and was engaged to be married to her boyfriend of three years. She made an impact in her community, so much so that 225 people attended her funeral. The funeral home director said in his 35 years of work he had never seen so many people at a young person’s services. Shirley described Maleeka as “a helper and a healer.”

Funeral services for her granddaughter was something Shirley never imagined she would need to pay for. She said the expenses were “insurmountable.” Her director at work reached out to her and suggested applying for assistance through the Hope Fund.

“I thought I would apply to try to alleviate the burden on us, and to help me with the other two girls,” Shirley said. “I was still off work when I learned I was approved for assistance. It was like I had two huge weights on my shoulders, and suddenly they were gone. It helped the healing process, and gave me time to grieve.” Shirley describes the Hope Fund as “a light at the end of a very dark tunnel. The Hope Fund is life-changing.” She added, “I’m grateful to be a part of this HCA Healthcare family. I would like all my colleagues to know the Hope Fund is there for you. It is there for all of us.”

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