Sanford Hospice brings healing to local family

December 8, 2017

Hospice doesn’t cure a person’s disease, but it certainly can strengthen the spirit of so many people like Marty Braithwaite and her family.

Marty was diagnosed with an aggressive form of lung cancer in November 2015. At 89 years old, Marty decided not to pursue treatment, but instead sought to live the best life she could.

Almost immediately, Marty began crossing goals off her bucket list. She visited the French Quarter and savored beignets in New Orleans. She watched her grandson Matt Braithwaite graduate from medical school. And she celebrated two birthdays no one thought she would. (Marty and her family are pictured above celebrating another year together.)

“My mom just loved life,” said Marty’s daughter, Mindy Braithwaite. “She wanted to do stuff, and whatever she wanted, that’s what I wanted too.”

Marty with her grandson Matt at his medical school graduation.

More than anything, Marty wanted to spend her days at home. She wanted to sit in her favorite chair, surrounded by portraits of her beloved children on the walls, photo albums from her many trips and a small picture with the saying, “Have patience. God isn’t finished yet.” Through the care provided, Sanford Hospice gave Marty this gift.

“Home is special,” Mindy said. “It’s a safe place, and that’s where we wanted to be.”

Sanford Hospice helped make arrangements so Marty could continue to travel and do what she loved. Once a week, hospice nurse Krissy Sayler visited Marty at home to make sure she remained comfortable and enjoyed the highest quality of life.

“We were so grateful for all of Sanford Hospice’s help,” Mindy said. “They are fabulous. I don’t know what we would have done without Krissy.”

Marty passed away in the quiet and peace of her own home in late October. Her daughter, Mindy, and son Tim Braithwaite were by her side.

“If you are going to write an ending, this is the way you’d write it,” Tim said. “We couldn’t have wished anything better for her,” Mindy added.

In addition to benefiting from hospice herself, Marty was a strong supporter of Ava’s House by Sanford, a new in-patient hospice facility that opened this fall in Sioux Falls. She was honored to see friends and family donate to Ava’s House in memory of her son Dr. Tom Braithwaite who passed away in 2014.

Pictured left to right: Mindy, Marty and Tim at Ava’s House, outside of the patient room sponsored in Tom’s memory.

“She saw family as the foundation of her life, and the outpouring of love for Tom really drew her to the Ava’s House project,” Tim said. “She understood the significance of a warm, inviting and loving place.”

This holiday season, please think of your loved ones and neighbors across the region, and continue to stand with Sanford Hospice. We rely on your support to provide the highest quality of care to so many in our community. Whether you choose to support home hospice, the Sanford Cottages or the Gift of Time campaign, which advances the mission of Ava’s House, your gift will make a difference.