Volunteer Spotlight: Mary Zelenock

Name: Mary Zelenock

How long have you been a volunteer?
About a year-and-a-half.

What areas do you work in/what sort of tasks do you do as a volunteer?
Patient care in the Care Center.

Why did you decide to become a volunteer?
I’m a retired RN and I always worked in intensive care with very sick patients. I loved that job but I was frequently with patients when they were dying and their families were there.

I guess I was drawn to comforting people and doing whatever I could. I was never afraid of talking about passing away with the families or the patients. I think that kind of gave them some relief to be able to talk about it.

What is your favorite part about volunteering?
Being with the patients and their families. That truly is my favorite part. I enjoy the nurses and I admire Angela Hospice so much. I’ve never seen such a caring community. I like to be here in that atmosphere.

Mary volunteers in the Care Center.
What is one of your favorite stories or memories from volunteering?
I find that these patients love to talk about their past and they’re especially happy to talk about where they were born, where they grew up, and tell me stories about their childhood.

I can remember a patient that I had that was in his early 90s, who almost never spoke, just laid in bed with his eyes closed. I sat down and held his hand and I said, “This is Mary. How are you?” He just looked at me. Then I said, “I know your name” and I addressed him by that. Then he just opened up and started crying and talking to me a little bit at first. Then every time I would come in and see him he’d said, “Hello Mary!” or “Hail Mary.” That person was very dear to my heart, he was really sweet.

No comments:

Post a Comment