Hospice is a blessing when all the world around seems to be falling apart. While the primarily focus is on the individual in the last stage of life, the program is also an incredible support for the family and friends who are emotionally, financially and psychologically overwhelmed by the traumatic situation.
Traditionally hospice has been provided in homes which can be daunting in itself. In some cases, it requires having round-the-clock care providers that can add even more anxiety to the household, especially if it is a young family with children. And then there are those who will be haunted by the sadness of the death taking place in their home.With the baby boomers aging out, hospice care has become more important than ever before. And to accommodate this growing situation, Faith Presbyterian Hospice undertook a $43M campaign to build Dallas’ first independent, residential hospice care center, the T. Boone Pickens Hospice and Palliative Care Center. It will have the Harold Simmons Foundation Inpatient Care Center, The Donald and Charlotte Test Outdoor Reflection Center, The Hamon Resource and Education Center, The Spiritual Care Center and The Pickens Center Child and Family Bereavement Center.
When T. Boone Pickens made a kick-off gift of $18.4M in September 2010, that $43M goal seemed decades away, but thanks to the four latest donors of $2.8M, they’re just $1M away. And that last crop of generous folks include:
- The late Don Hodges family — $1M
- Sammye and Mike Myers — $1M
- Margot and Ross Perot — $500K
- Charlotte Test — $344,500 in addition to her previous donation of $2.5M
Ironically, it was the late Don Hodge who involved T. Boone Pickens on the project. Don’s son, Clark Hodges recalled, “Our father played a key role in the early stages of the project by introducing Mr. Pickens to the hospice center, and we are delighted to carry on his legacy and honor him with our family donation.”
Located at 12379 Merit Drive near Medical City, the 53,388-square-foot facility on a 9.3-acre campus is projected to serve 1,200 families annually. The 36 suites will “have a bed-accessible patio or balcony overlooking serene gardens and a community lake. There will be private sleeping and dressing accommodations for families as well as a children’s play space, teen entertainment area, exercise room, family dining and business center.
According to Presbyterian Communities and Services Foundation Executive Director Peter Lynch, “These generous gifts will help us serve families in Dallas by enhancing landscaping and various other areas both indoors and outdoors at the center, and we are extremely grateful for these contributions. The center is a reality thanks to our many donors, and because of their support, we will provide comfort and quality time for families to spend together.”
As Sammye said, “With all of the special care, it allows families to concentrate on time together and to gently ease their loved one over to the ‘other side.’”
* Graphic courtesy of Faith Presbyterian Hospice