MEDIA, Pa. - A hospice care social worker shared her experience supporting and comforting families during the most difficult of times.
"I am Noel Stranen. I’m a social worker with Compassionate Care Hospice.”
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“I’m the social worker that goes out and talks with the families about the whole hospice process and how to handle letting go of their loved one and supporting them all through that,” Noel told FOX 29.
She’s been comforting families through the worst of times for 15 years but the coronavirus pandemic has made her role even more important because access to hospice facilities is severely limited.
"We did have a situation just recently where the family was able to say goodbye but then could not come back in again," Noel explained.
Leaving Noel and the team as their only contact to their loved one.
“I got to stay with her as she passed and it was such a gift to be able to tell the family that and just sit with the patient and love them right up to the end," she added.
She’s never considered herself a front line worker but does acknowledge that the pandemic has created a larger responsibility that her team is honored to embrace.
“It’s heartbreaking for me as a social worker because I know how important that time is, you can never get it back. It’s a privilege that they let me be the one to be there with them," she said.
Noel said it's their strength and kindness that has made an impression on her.
“I was leaving and said do you need anything and he said no, you just stay safe out there, which was such a wonderful thing to say and he passed within a half an hour of saying that to me, but that was the last thing he had on his mind, how great is that," Noel explained.
As far as being suggested by you as a hero, Noel just shook her head and gave all of the thanks to the patients she says she’s had the privilege to serve.
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