Sometimes when you’re not feeling well, you just want to be home in your own bed. Unfortunately for Angela Sargent, that’s not possible. The 50-year-old has been fighting a rare form of lupus for 18 years, and the disease is finally starting to take its toll.
However, Angela’s family and the staff at Open Arms Hospice are doing everything they can to keep her spirits up – including bringing in special reinforcements.
Angela and her husband, John, own Two Hearts Wildlife Rehab in Sunset, South Carolina. She’s been watching out for “God’s fur babies” for nearly 30 years and calls it one of life’s greatest blessings. Not being able to care for the animals she helped raise and rehabilitate is just another reason being away from home is so hard.
So, John started working with staff members to plan a special visit to lift Angela’s spirits. They surprised her with his latest rescue, a fawn named Snickers that was injured after being run over by a bush hog.
“The nurse was just pushing me down the hall and then, to my surprise, there John comes with this little baby,” Angela remembers with a smile.
Angela and Snickers were able to sit out on the back patio of the McCall Hospice House for a while, both clearly enjoying each other’s company.
“Deer aren’t typically that calm. I think she knew she was helping me,” says Angela. “It’s amazing what animals pick up on. She even licked my face!”
John agrees. He says while he still holds Snickers in his lap to feed, the deer has never been as affectionate with him as it was with Angela that day. Hospice staff members say the visit did just the trick, improving Angela’s blood pressure and pulling her out of depression she was experiencing from not being able to return home.
Word spread that Angela would turn 50 on July 14th and the employees at the McCall Hospice House went to work again. This time, they planned a special birthday celebration. The party included balloons, streamers, cake and plenty of gifts. Angela even received several plants from friends as well as supplies to build her own terrariums to house them.
Despite being in what she calls “the final stages of this journey,” Angela is not short of smiles. She credits the kindness of the McCall Hospice House staff in caring for her, the love of her husband, as well as the incredibly strong support system her family and friends provide. It also doesn’t hurt the view from her room includes two playful squirrels, truly making it feel like her home away from home.
Only this time, it’s the animals that are coming to Angela’s rescue at a time when she needs it most.