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Having That Hospice Heart

Oct 18, 2021

Dana Casadei, Development Liaison
Like Mother, Like Daughters

When Susan Ferrier started as a nurse aide at Angela Hospice nearly 12 years ago, her daughters Samantha Ferrier and Christina Slaviero wanted to know why she would want to go into a field like hospice.

“I always had that connotation that hospice was really sad or depressing, but watching how rewarding it was for her and seeing her hospice heart, kind of inspired me to have that same concept,” said Christina, who is better known by her nickname, Morrow.

“She would be like, ‘No, I absolutely love my job and am finding meaning,’” Samantha added.

Susan gave them the foundation of what hospice is actually like, and showed them that the rewards of the job – like knowing you’ve helped make someone’s last moments a little more comfortable – outshine the sadness. Susan eventually inspired both Morrow and Samantha to work at Angela as well.

Morrow started as an aide, and then realized how much she liked the medical field and patient care. She soon went to nursing school and the whole time kept thinking she wanted to go back to Angela. So, she did, and has been an admissions nurse the last two years.

For Samantha, having both her mom and sister work at Angela Hospice played a pivotal role in her decision.

“My mom was like, ‘Angela Hospice has social workers,’” Samantha said. “I volunteered here, and I loved it. So I went into getting my masters thinking I wanted to do hospice, and then it just so happened that I was able to end up being here.”

What’s it like for Susan to work with her daughters?

“I think that’s really great that we all work together,” Susan said. “I never thought that was going to happen…”

Morrow and Susan even worked together during Morrow’s first year as a home care aide. Approaching new situations with her mom by her side eased Morrow’s anxiety as she was able to watch Susan lead by example. She taught her how to take care of her patients better.

“You go into people’s houses, you don’t even know them, but you feel comfortable right away, as soon as you go in there,” Susan said. “And they’re very welcoming.”

Being Comfortable With Death

“I feel like it makes me less scared of dying, to know there are places like this or organizations like this… there are people who will care for you and keep you comfortable,” Samantha said.

“Yeah, dying doesn’t have to be scary. It can be comforting. I’ve always said, I’ll probably be here until I’m a patient here,” Morrow said. “I’d put myself here.”

Samantha and Morrow both think they’ll always be connected to Angela Hospice in some capacity, and Susan plans to retire from Angela Hospice some day.

“I don’t have plans to go elsewhere,” Samantha said. “Especially with hospice, it’s this hospice.”

“I think we’re deeply rooted here and our hearts are connected,” Morrow said.

In fact, Morrow recently had a daughter, and while she would never push her into the field, she thinks it would be very special if she did work here one day, or even volunteered.

“I kind of thought, because she was with me in my belly for all of my working, that I’m instilling the compassion in her…” Morrow said. “I was trying to give her that hospice heart.”

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