As part of a lifestyle and aging series, we’re working with renowned photographer Terry Lorant to showcase inspirational leaders in the industry. Each month, we’ll feature one or a few inspirational member(s) of the Amazing Care Network community who is using his or her voice to empower others in the collective aging experience. Read, in their own words, what the Amazing Care Network’s efforts mean to them.
This month, we’re proud to feature Paula Morgan, an ACN Member and the Founder and CEO of Morgan Consulting.
ACN: How did you first get involved in Amazing Care Network?
PM: I’ve known Cora since the mid-nineties, when I was a recruiter helping her to find a Chief Medical Officer. In December 1998, my husband passed away and it was an unexpected thing. Cora, who had experienced losing her parents in an accident when she was in her thirties, understood how hard that was for me. We had already been more than business colleagues, we had become friends, but we became much closer through that experience, and her attention and caring for me at that time.
When she started to talk with me about the idea for the Amazing Care Network, I understood her reasons for thinking it was important. When her husband became ill, it was a wake-up call.
The concept made sense to me.
ACN: How will you use Amazing Care?
PM: That’s evolving, but I know one thing for sure…I almost lost my sister about 14 months ago and that was a painful experience. This is a sister who worked for 30 years as a critical care nurse and now is living on a modest retirement in Las Vegas.
I have two sisters and we’re all RNs. Plus we have a brother who was a medic in the Navy. It took all of us to monitor her care, for a long time.
I’ve decided to set up an Amazing Care account for me and for my sister. We just celebrated her 75th birthday. I just want her to know that she’s got a cushion, and a network to fall back on when she needs us. Thankfully, she’s alive, and things are good now; we’re all extremely thankful.
ACN: What ANC service is most important to you?
PM: I think that end of life care is a very important health care issue that we all need to become more familiar with. I’ve been involved with this emotionally and intellectually for a long time. When my husband Jack fell and went into a coma, he was in a coma for six weeks until he died. I’ve often thanked God that I live in California and not in Florida, because Jack might very possibly still be alive in a nursing home. And that would have been the worst hell that he or I could imagine. I knew he did not want that. But, we were in California and the doctors understood the complexities of our situation.
You think about that, and what would you want for yourself or your spouse or your significant other. Doctors are trained to keep us alive and to cure us. It’s only recently that we’re getting a bigger cadre of physicians and nurses being trained in hospice and palliative care.
ACN: Have you attended an ACN Event and what resonated most with you?
PM: Yes. Amazing Care’s presentation on the Physician Aid in Dying option, now available in California, was a very timely topic and extremely informative. I believe six states have passed laws enabling us to ask for assistance when we’ve really had enough pain and suffering; or we fear that continuing to live will put heavy burdens on our loved ones.
And then, for Cora to tell her own story and share her personal experience which is so recent, and raw, that was quite emotional. When she called to let me know about Pablo’s death, and how it occurred, I loved her. She said, “My heart is broken, but I’m at peace.” Imagine the ability to be at peace, and to know that he died the way he wanted to die, with his family around him, with love. We can’t ask for more than that.