Hospital Bed Helps Fulfil a Mother's Wish

JoLynne Lyon
09/01/2021

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portrait of man and woman
Nola Ettleman and Keith Wright stand by a hospital bed that came to them thanks to 
the coordination of agencies in three cities. The bed made it possible for the family to
care for their loved one at home.

UINTAH BASIN--Sometimes simple things can make all the difference. Things like a hospital bed, which helps make caring for a loved one at home more manageable.

Nola Ettleman knew she would need one when she found out her mother, Velma Lamb, was coming home sooner than expected from a long-term care facility. Nola and her family were not equipped to receive Velma, who was still very ill. Their home was not accessible, and they did not have a bed that would help them raise, lower and care for her.

But they heard about the Utah Assistive Technology Program in Vernal. They spoke to coordinator Cameron Cressall, who helped locate a bed for them—hours away. It was located at Roads to Independence, Ogden’s independent living center. UATP-Logan lab technician Brandon Griffin made the more than four-hour trip from Logan to pick up the bed in Ogden and deliver it to UATP’s Vernal location, where the family picked it up.

“If we wouldn’t have had the hospital bed, we would have had so much trouble,” Nola said. “Cameron was so wonderful. He had it here within a couple of days.”

Cressall also helped the family prepare their home for Velma’s arrival. She had been ill for five months, had caught COVID-19 in long-term care, and had moved from one facility to two others after she contracted the coronavirus. Finally she was released, though she remained very ill. It was a stressful time for Velma and her family. “You never really know how scary it is until you have a loved one that’s that sick,” Nola said.

Velma passed away just days after arriving back home, but those days were comforting for her and her family. “She got her wish come true,” Nola said, “to come home and see her husband and kids before she was gone.”

Cameron said the experience meant a lot to him, too. “It was my privilege to help them.”

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