Letters to the Editor

Thanks to doctors, hospice workers and other ‘angels disguised as humans’ in SLO County

My beloved mother recently passed away from lung cancer. Along her journey, we encountered only love and compassion from the people of this community.

The journey began with Dr. Gregory Simmons in the ER at French. Despite it being the heart of flu season, he took the time to diagnose my mom and make her comfortable.

Next, we meet with her primary care doctor, Dr. Mary Lowery, during her lunch break. Dr. Lowery wanted to do everything possible to make sure my mom was comfortable and had the referrals necessary to get the proper care.

My mom ended up back in the hospital due to complications. A very young, but incredibly wise hospitalist, Dr. John Avery, wrote orders for hospice, per my mom’s request. This was the kindest gift he could have given her. My beautiful mother was able to return home to a house set up for a patient with end stage cancer.

Once she was on hospice, the wonderful Dr. Steven Sainsbury took care of her every need instantly. Our social worker, Beth Belingheri, was kind and thoughtful. Her nurse, Katie Mott, treated my mom with unbelievable respect and kindness.

From the beginning until the very end, Deacon Tom O’Brien and Father Matt Pennington from Nativity of Our Lady were there by her side offering her nourishment for the journey. Once she had passed, Darlene Forzetting, Luis Gonzales and Wendy Reis from Reis Family Mortuary treated her body with care and tenderness.

She could not have made this journey without the amazing people in this community. Thank you. You are angels disguised as humans. You gave my mom the gift to die at home, surrounded by loved ones, with dignity and grace.

Christina Stamford, San Luis Obispo

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