November 19, 2019 On a cool fall evening, a Cobb County woman receiving hospice care was given a once in a lifetime experience to meet her favorite baseball player, Freddie Freeman of the Atlanta Braves.
Ms. Shirley Delatorre is diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer and lives with the weakness and fatigue that often accompanies the condition. She’s now residing with her daughter in Smyrna, GA where in-home hospice provides support and medical care to ease her symptoms.
Ms. Delatorre, Felicia[hospice nurse] and Freddie Freeman, 1st baseman on the Atlanta Braves, Facetimes on November 16, 2019
One day, Ms. Delatorre opened up to her hospice registered nurse, Felicia Brady, about her wish to meet Freddie Freeman. Nurse Felicia told her that she didn’t know who he was. Felicia went on to say, “Ms. Shirley looked at me like I had two heads and said, ‘Well, he’s the best baseball player on the Atlanta Braves!”
Ms. Delatorre has always loved Freddie Freeman and held onto the hope of attending a baseball game, however, she was unable to attend due to her advanced illness.
Lola Elaine, Ms. Delatorre’s daughter, explains, “She started watching the Braves with my step-dad when he was alive. After he passed, I started watching the Braves games with her. Whenever Freddie came up to bat- every single time, she would say ‘That’s my man! I love you, Freddie Freeman!'”
Her hopes and dreams to meet Atlanta Braves baseball player, Freddie Freeman, was made a reality with the help of the Heavenly Hands Hospice Foundation and Facetime!
“When Felicia [hospice nurse] and the team started discussing with her that you were going to try to get her to meet Freddie, it was all she could talk about. She was so excited! She was really hoping you could make this happen for her.” says Lola.
The Heavenly Hands Hospice Foundation facilitates experiences that maintain quality of life and dignity during a challenging time from providing basic needs to fulfilling dreams that our patients and families never thought could come true.
On a Facebook post, Ms. Delatorre’s daughter, writes “She didn’t get to physically meet him [Freddie Freeman], but she got the next best thing. Freddie and his wife called and facetimed with Mom!! It was so exciting!!”
Gathered together in her bedroom at home with her daughter and hospice staff, Ms. Delatorre’s dream came true on Saturday, November 16, 2019. Freddie Freeman called Ms. Delatorre, all the way from California, on Facetime. Her hospice nurse and social worker held the phone while Freddie spoke to Ms. Delatorre.
By all accounts, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room.
“It was a special moment,” says Yvonne Ward, Heavenly Hands Hospice Foundation committee member, and social worker. “She could barely open her eyes and could only speak in a faint whisper. She opened her eyes, at one point, really wide and she kept whispering ‘I love you, Freddie’ over and over again.” says Ms. Ward.
Yvonne goes on to say and laugh, “I asked her if I could lay the Braves jersey and hat on her to get ready for Freddie. She whispered back to me, “h*** yes.”
The heart-warming video of the Facetime call with Freddie Freeman was posted on Facebook and reached over 5,000 views within a couple of days. Watch the video on the Heavenly Hands Hospice Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/heavenlyhandshospice/
Be sure to have your tissues ready!
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