• By Dana Sparks

In the Loop: Hospice Patient’s Sentimental Return to the Water’s Edge

July 19, 2016

a hospice patient named Lee Graham with Gold Cross paramedics

The Mississippi River runs through Lee Graham's memories. He and his wife, Shirley, owned a cabin on the river for decades. It's where his kids learned to waterski, and where he spent many sunny days boating and fishing with family and friends. And for years, it was the first place he'd head after clocking out as assistant chief of the Rochester Police Department. "When I'd get through work … I'd race down to the river to get there and have as much river enjoyment as possible," he tells us. It didn't matter if he touched the water. "Just to be in the surroundings" was enough. "It's kind of hard to explain," he says. "I just enjoyed being there." (We understand.)

Lee recently spent another memorable day on the river, thanks to a program called Sentimental Journeys. The program, a partnership between Mayo Clinic Hospice and Gold Cross Ambulance, helps hospice patients take a special trip or attend an event, like a wedding or graduation, that might not be possible without assistance. When hospice staff told the Grahams about the program, they knew exactly where they wanted to go.  Read the rest of Lee's story.

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This story originally appeared on the In the Loop blog.

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