Cliff and Willow Fitch had a beautiful love story that spanned more than six decades. Their marriage was busy and active. Willow loved horseback riding and enjoyed making her own clothes. The couple camped together and enjoyed life, side-by-side.
That’s why it was such a difficult transition for Willow when, after an accident, she was paralyzed from the neck down.
“It was a shock,” Cliff says. “But you don’t have time to absorb the shock because you have to figure things out.”
Part of what Cliff and Willow needed to find was hospice care. They went with a for-profit organization and were shocked by the lack of quality.
“I hadn’t really thought about it before, but the for-profit place was cutting costs everywhere,” Cliff says. “The materials they brought in were low-quality, and the service wasn’t good. I knew this wasn’t the care she deserved. Immediately, I started looking for something else.”
As soon as Cliff changed to Providence Hospice, the difference was overwhelming. He says what meant the most to him and his wife was that the hospice team really listened to what they needed.
“The first time they met Willow, they asked her if there was anything special she would like,” Cliff says. “She told them she wanted a bed big enough so that we could sleep in the same bed at night. I didn’t think anything would come of it, but I thought it was nice of them to ask.”
But the next day, an extra-large hospital bed was delivered to the Fitch’s home, and for the next seven months, they could go to bed together, just as they had for almost 62 years.
“It may not sound like much,” Cliff says, “but to us, it was everything.”
He says they brought quality supplies that aided his wife’s comfort, and their medical help was extraordinary, but it was so much more than that.
“They have so much compassion, for me as much as for Willow,” Cliff says. “They knew I was losing my partner of 62 years and that I was hurting, and they offered me help, too. They were just about giving the best quality for our comfort. They pulled out all the stops to take care of us.”
He says the massages, the therapy, the chaplain—everything they did was excellent. “There’s heart in everything they do. Everything,” he says. “They’d call to check up with us on weekends to see if we needed anything. And sometimes we’d have an emergency, and even if it was the middle of the night, they responded quickly.”
After Willow passed away, Cliff has taken every opportunity to tell people about Providence Hospice. “They did so much for us,” he says. “There’s really no one else to choose when you need hospice. They’re the best."