November 30, 2023
An open letter sharing the unwavering care and professionalism of St. Peter’s Health Hospice
I’m Rick O’Connell, and my connection with St. Peter’s Health Hospice began when my mother Ruth battled COPD. The hospice team provided invaluable support during that time. Later, I volunteered with St. Peter’s Health Cancer Care, where I witnessed the incredible compassion of hospice nurses.
In the fall of 2020, my wife Jan—my soulmate and the mother of our children—was diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer. She underwent surgery and chemotherapy, but the disease returned in spring 2022. After enduring treatments for a while, she made the difficult decision to discontinue them. It was then that we turned to St. Peter’s Hospice and discovered the wide range of services offered.
The unwavering care and professionalism of the St. Peter’s Hospice team left us deeply impressed. Sadly, Jan lost her battle with cancer on October 21, 2022. It has been a year since she passed, and it’s thanks to the compassionate grief counselors at St. Peter’s Hospice that my children and I found the strength to move forward. We took advantage of the services they provide, all at no cost, including one-on-one counseling and well-organized support group sessions. I now have a profound understanding of the importance of hospice and its comprehensive services.
About Light A Life
Following the loss of the iconic 100-year-old evergreen tree at the Helena Civic Center in early 2021, a multi-tree light display now carries on the Light a Life tradition. Starting December 7, each light will shine brightly during the holiday season in memory of a loved one.
As the holiday season approaches and we gather with loved ones to celebrate, let us take a moment to remember those who are facing their last days with courage and dignity. St. Peter’s Health Hospice is dedicated to providing compassionate end-of-life care, ensuring that every individual’s journey is filled with comfort, support and love. Our annual Light a Life fundraiser and event embodies the spirit of giving, compassion and community, aiming to make hospice care accessible to everyone, regardless of their ability to pay. Your support can truly make a difference in the lives of those who need it most.