Sharon Blackwell began a journey with one of our patients 14 months ago. M had been in the hospital and referred to our clinic. As our nurse navigator for the Transitional Care Clinic, Sharon met with him about his post-acute care follow up visit at TCC. She learned that he was a stroke victim who was unable to speak or care for himself. His wife had been his caretaker but after her death in 2012 he was placed under guardianship because of his inability to communicate. No one knew about his family in Philadelphia and he had no family in Chesapeake.
Over time, he regained the function of limited speech and mobility. Sharon took the time to listen to him and he relayed that he was very unhappy in the group home where he resided. At one of her visits to his home, she spent over an hour taking the time to listen to him. His speech is labored, and it takes time to hear what he is saying. But she took the time. He told her, "I want to go home," and he told her about his mother and siblings in Philadelphia. Sharon called his mother and she told her she had been trying to get him home for a long time but did not know how to navigate the system and she had limited resources. His mother was 84 at this time and desperately wanted her son back home. Sharon spoke with Jewish Family Services and requested that the disability law center take his case. They agreed and after a long year of appointments, paperwork, competency rulings, and court hearings, M was free to go home.
Sharon then made all the arrangements through Angel Wings to make his dream come true. Last month, Sharon accompanied M home and he was reunited with his family for the first time in 10 years. Sharon's unwavering faith, tenacity, and compassion made this a reality for our patient and his family.