Volunteer Spotlight: Tammy Welsh

Name: Tammy Welsh

How long have you been a volunteer?
Four years

What areas do you work in/what tasks do you do?
Direct patient care in the Care Center, and mentoring new volunteers.

What made you decide to become a volunteer?
I’ve been really blessed with fortunate things in my life and my kids were all grown, and I had some extra time. I thought, ok, well I guess this is my time to give back, so where am I going to put my time? To be honest, I think it was just following God’s direction because when I put in volunteer work Angela’s was the first one that came up. It was just like ok, that’s where I should go. I didn’t bother looking any further. Then I filled out the application and after that very first night (of volunteer training) I said, yup. It was like an overwhelming feeling of “this is where I’m supposed to be at this time in my lifeand that’s where I’ve been.

What is your favorite part about volunteering?
Just being able to help and talk to the patients. Some of them have such great history and such great stories to tell. It’s just a privilege to be able to sit there and listen to their life journey, what they’ve done in their lives. It’s such a vulnerable time in their life that they fill you in on a lot of stuff, which is kind of neat.

What is one of your favorite stories or memories from volunteering?
There is one time, and I’ll never forget it. There was this woman and she did not want to be here. She wasn't very cooperative. She just wasn't going with the program. She was here for a little bit of time, and I still went in and saw her and said hello and all that kind of stuff every night I was here. One night I went in and said hi and she actually said hello to me, which she never did. She would never say hi, she would just kind of look at you, like “What are you doing here?” But anyway, she looked at me and said hello and I said, “Can I get you anything? Is there anything I can do for you?”

She said, “Can you stay with me for a while?”

I said, “Yeah, I can stay with you for a while.”

And she said, “I don’t feel well. I’m having some pains in my chest.”

So I sat with her.  She grabbed my hand and we were just sitting there. I knew she was in pain and I knew things weren’t right. She said, “Please don’t leave me. Don’t go anywhere. Just can you please stay with me?”
I said, “I’m not going anywhere, I’ll stay right here.” But I could tell she was getting more agitated, more upset, and so I said, “Hang on a second. I’ll be right back. I’m just going to go get a nurse and she’s going to come in and check you out.”

She said, “Nope, nope, don’t leave me. Please don’t leave me.”

I said, “OK, alright, I’ll stay right here.”

So I buzzed for the nurse and a few minutes later the nurse came. I told her what was going on and the nurse said, “She’s not taking her medications. She’s refusing to take them.” So she was explaining to the patient that she was having some heart issues because she stopped taking her medication but she could give them to her if she wanted. It took her about 10 seconds to say she wanted the medications. The nurse gave her the medications and said that it was going to take a little while before she would feel better, but just to relax.

Long story short, I sat with her for probably about four hours and she just kept saying, ”Don’t leave me, please don’t leave me.” At the very end of it she was doing a lot better and she was like a totally different person. She said, “Thank you so much for staying with me. I appreciate everything you did. God bless you.”

It was just like we don’t really know what that person is going through. We can’t really judge that person for anything at all because we’re not in their shoes. But it just made me stop and think she wasn’t this person that she kind of gave this air of being. She actually was just a sweet, little, old, scared lady, and she wanted somebody with her. I think she was really afraid she was going to die. I’ll never forget it. I helped her out in that moment and she made me feel so good at the same time. We kind of helped each other out.

1 comment:

  1. That's my mom! Couldn't be any more proud :)