If you ask Paul, he’ll tell you that Dorothy was right—there is no place like home! Since his hospitalization in February for leg pain (which turned out to be bone cancer), Paul has not been back to his beloved home on historic Main Street in Springfield. Paul’s wife, Janet, has been holding down the fort at home with the wonderful support of the local church community, while working in daily trips to Hillcrest Health and Rehabilitation to see her loving husband. As Paul’s 86th birthday approached, Janet asked Paul how he would like to celebrate and he told her that his Dream was to go home for a day.
Janet understood why this was so important to Paul, but because of mobility issues, he was no longer able to transfer toand from a car and there are steps in the entryway of their old home. She thought that this was an impossible Dream. Luckily, Paul’s hospice social worker, Allie, overheard their conversation about getting Paul home for his birthday—and she knew that Dreamweaver could help!
When we met Paul for his interview, he was full of hope! He said that after all this time he almost forgot what his home looked like, but he couldn’t wait to get back to sit in his living room with his wife and sons, eat Janet’s famous peach cobbler, and hold his cat, Garfield, in his lap.
As we got to know Paul, we learned that he is a man of faith who dutifully took his sons to church every week, that he was retired from the post office after years of hard work making sure that people received their mail on time, and that he’s passionate about music (especially Fleetwood Mac). We also learned that Paul bleeds Husker Red! Paul is a lifelong fan and was a proud owner of season tickets for many years until COVID restrictions and his declining health benched him from cheering on his favorite team in person. Paul told us that there was no place else he would rather celebrate what could be his last birthday, than in the comfort of his own home with the people he loved.
We believe that when there is a will there is a way, and we needed to find a way to make Paul’s house more accessible for him and his wheelchair. Mobility 101 answered our call on the first ring and were able to quickly install a temporary wheelchair ramp over Paul’s entryway so that he was able to get inside his beloved home. And our friends at Midwest Medical Transport provided Paul with door-to-door transportation. When Paul arrived at his home, he was greeted with big hugs from his wife and two sons, the smell of his favorite food (chili dogs) on the stove, party decorations, and a table full of gifts.
Dreamweaver’s staff was so thankful to be included in the celebration, and were on hand to snap pictures of the birthday boy enjoying being back on his home turf. Our Husker friends helped us surprise Paul with a special gift—a signed photograph of Coach Scott Frost. This was truly the “Frosting” on the cake (and Dream!) for Paul, who could not stop smiling.
After the party, Paul returned to Hillcrest Health and Rehabilitation with a belly full of his favorite foods, new memories of his favorite people, and a framed picture of one of his favorite football heroes to hang on his wall to remind him that Dreams can come true.