Getting to the Next Place

May 13, 2023

Lisa C. Norton, Communications & Philanthropy Manager

Sophia* didn’t really have any family, but her church was like family. She had always gone to Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral, and when Lindsey Wiggins visited there for the first time, Sophia was the first person to introduce herself.

Lindsey is a nurse with Angela Hospice, so when Sophia came to church one day looking very jaundiced, Lindsey was concerned. She pulled Sophia aside to suggest she see a doctor.

“She just changed the subject immediately,” Lindsey recalled.

Father Paul Albert was also concerned about Sophia, so he asked Lindsey to check in on her while he was out of town.

The lights were off when Lindsey arrived – Sophia didn’t want anyone to see how ill she looked. She also didn’t want to discuss her health.

“She basically, politely, several times in a row told me to leave,” Lindsey recalled. But Lindsey could see Sophia was very sick, so she made a deal with her – she would leave, but she would be back the next day to check on her.

In the meantime, Lindsey spoke with the team at Angela Hospice looking for options to help Sophia. She knew Sophia didn’t have family and she didn’t have any money. So Lindsey reached out to the executive team at Angela Hospice, who agreed to offer free care to Sophia through the Good Samaritan Fund, so she could be cared for safely and comfortably in the Angela Hospice Care Center. But Lindsey knew she would still have to convince Sophia to accept her help.

Lindsey prayed on her way to Sophia’s house, and looking back, she said, “Everything happened so miracle-like, it was amazing.”

When she arrived, Sophia was on the floor. She had fallen, and despite Lindsey’s best efforts, she couldn’t lift her.

“I sat on the floor with her… I was basically propping her up with my body,” Lindsey said. She explained to Sophia that she would have to call 911.

“I said it as simply and as gently as I could… ‘You can’t stay here. I can’t leave you here, it’s not safe. I would get in trouble. So when I call 911 to get you picked up… The first option is to take you to the hospital and get you treated, get you hooked up to IVs and whatever they need to do. Or… I know of a place you can go where they’ll take care of you and provide for all the things that you need… And it’s free.’”


Lindsey told her, “I think you know that you’re not going to get better, right? And she just said, ‘Yeah.’”

Sophia agreed to come to the Care Center and Lindsey was relieved to know she would get the care she needed, so she wouldn’t die alone or in pain. Lindsey followed the ambulance to the Care Center.

“We got her settled in and as I was leaving… she looked at me and she said, ‘Thank you,’” Lindsey recalled.

After Sophia passed away, less than a day later, Lindsey went to read the Psalms over Sophia. When the representative from the funeral home arrived, he told Lindsey his building shares an alleyway with her church, and he has known Father Paul for years. It was further reassurance for Lindsey to know this was all in God’s plan.

“Through the chaos of the set of events that I was thrown into, basically… I didn’t know what the outcome was going to be,” Lindsey reflected. “But I could see God’s hand through it all. And it was just such a blessing to be able to do that for her.”

Lindsey came to Angela Hospice in 2019, after working in a hospital intensive care unit. But Lindsey always knew she wanted to work in hospice, since spending a day with a hospice nurse while she was in nursing school.

“I remember her saying… ‘The reason why I love my job is because I feel like it’s such an honor to be with these people the moments before they meet God,’” Lindsey recalled. “So I was like, wow, that’s an interesting way of seeing it.”

At Angela Hospice, Lindsey has truly found her calling.

As Father Paul wrote, “We were blessed to have among our parish team a dedicated hospice nurse, who lovingly intervened, and coordinated with Angela Hospice a place for Sophia to spend her final days with dignity, good care, and in peace… We are forever grateful to our dear friends at Angela Hospice for their generosity and hospitality, which was extended to Sophia at the time of her passing.”

*Name changed to protect privacy.

Angela Hospice’s Good Samaritan Fund ensures patients like Sophia, who are without financial resources, are able to receive the care they need at the end of their life. This fund is only possible through the generosity of donors and community friends.


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