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Home > Medical Services > Hospice > About Hospice > Nurse Returns to Hospice House in Her Final Days
The Boyd family had always known that the Dennis and Donna Oldorf Hospice House of Mercy would be the place for them during Deb’s final days. After their wife and mother had worked at the Hospice House for four years earlier in her life, it only made sense to return to the place where she had shared her tenderness and care with others.
Deb was compassionate to her core, always going above and beyond with the care she showed others. Her husband, Steve, said she always did what she could to support their family and that her passion was centered around helping those around her. As high school sweethearts, Steve always knew the kindness in her actions reflected the goodness of her heart, and he was well aware of her dream to continue helping those who needed it. With a gentle push, Deb went on to receive her BSN.
She worked on the burn unit at the University of Iowa Hospital & Clinics for years until she realized her calling was with the Hospice House of Mercy. This was where her compassion shone brightly.
“Her job was to help people die with dignity,” Steve said.
It was evident that Deb’s wholehearted care and empathy touched those she met. She often received cards expressing families’ gratitude for her service.
Steve knew firsthand that Deb would receive exceptional care at the Hospice House, given that Deb had worked with many of the staff members and passed along her manner of gentle care to them. Just as Deb had found her calling in hospice, Steve said that others working at the Hospice House had found their calling there, as well.
“They are all very compassionate,” Steve said. “People don’t really know what hospice is. [They] assume that they are trying to extend life when the point of hospice is to improve the quality of life.”
Steve remembers the meals that other families shared as being integral to the graciousness he experienced at the Hospice House. He also appreciated the music therapy. Musicians came in and played soothing music, which allowed him to have a moment to unwind.
As Deb passed, her strong faith in knowing that she would be going to a better place free of pain, as well as the selfless benevolence shown by the staff, helped ease the process for Steve and the couple’s two daughters.
“People need to understand that the goal of hospice is not to foster death,” Steve said, “but to help everyone get through the process in a caring way and to make it easier for you.”