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Forbes Hospice Featured in WQED Documentary

Forbes Hospice Featured in WQED Documentary

Forbes Hospice Featured in WQED Documentary, The Last Chapter

By Maria Synan, Staff

WriterOn June 30, 2011, WQED-TV aired its documentary, The Last Chapter, which followed several people facing end-of-life decisions. The hour-long program focused on the need to have discussions with loved ones about their wishes for end-of-life care.

Several Forbes Hospice patients and staff were featured in the documentary. They, along with their families, friends, Hospice staff members and volunteers, gathered to view the documentary together. Even though they deal with end-of-life care and decisions daily, Forbes Hospice staff members say they were still moved by the documentary

.“I was struck by the courage of these patients and their families. By allowing these strangers to be part of such intimate moments they were able to teach us all how to live each day to its fullest,” said Maryanne Fello, Forbes Hospice Director.

Forbes Hospice Patient Portraits (courtesy of WQED website) Laura Liberatore is a 45-year-old mom to 8-year-old Gabrielle and has been married to her husband, Rusty Liberatore, since 2000. She has lived with a congenital heart defect all her life. When she was born, doctors told her parents she wouldn’t live to be a teenager. In August 2008, she went into congestive heart failure. Doctors told her husband to take her to a Pittsburgh hospice. Laura was in Forbes Hospice for six weeks, but surprised everyone once again when she recovered – and
went home.

Clydine Anderson was a Forbes Hospice patient for over a year. Clydine suffered from emphysema, a lung disease that made it hard for her to breathe. She lived at home with one of her daughters, Stephanie, and received visits from a Forbes Hospice team that includes a physician, nurse, social worker and chaplain. When Clydine’s symptoms became too difficult to manage at home, she was admitted to the inpatient hospice unit.

Forbes Hospice Staff
Becky Gass, RN, has been a nurse for over 20 years but says she has found her greatest joy in working with home hospice patients. Several days a week the Forbes Hospice nurse gets in her car and travels to provide care, comfort and company to hospice patients in their homes. Clydine is one of Becky’s patients.

Jonathan Perlman is a rabbi at New Light Congregation in Squirrel Hill and an interfaith chaplain with Forbes Hospice. He works with terminally ill patients and families who are seeking help with issues of spirituality, faith and acceptance. Clydine has said Jonathan is one of her favorite hospice team members; and Jonathan has enjoyed singing gospel music with Clydine as he’s come to know her and help care for her.

The entire documentary and more information can be found online.