SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — The role of hospice is so vital to so many families it provides medical and comfort care to someone with a terminal illness as well as possible, and as long as possible.

Hospice programs help patients and their loved ones understand, prepare for, and support each other through the last stages of life. It turns out a local hospice clinician needed those very services for a loved one in his final months.

It’s hospice care through the eyes of a hospice clinician. Laura Marion, RN, BSN, Allied Services Assistant Vice President of Hospice and Palliative Programs, experienced it first hand in the past year.

“Hal was on hospice for six months, six-and-a-half months and he had a great five-and-a-half months. The last month was tough because his disease really, he declined,” said Laura Marion RN, BSN Assistant Vice President of Allied Services Hospice and Palliative Programs.

Eyewitness News profiled Hal Marion nearly two years ago. While battling the progressive disease pulmonary fibrosis, he was able to remain home for his palliative care, and again for most of his hospice care to which he transitioned in late 2020. In his final month, he stayed in Allied Service’s Scranton-based in-patient unit.

“He remained comfortable the entire time. And he got to spend time with his family,” said Marion.

More than 1,000 hospice patients a year rely on Allied Service’s hospice care for their symptoms and pain management. Their final days or even weeks may be spent at one of Allied’s in-patient hospice units.

“We’re here to support everybody. So when they step through these walls, it becomes a soft place to land because they know that they’re going to be taken care of and their family is going to be taken care of,” said Dawn Jeziorski who is a Medical Social Worker with Allied Services Hospice.

That final journey is one Jeziorski says she does not take lightly.

“It’s a sacred experience for me. It’s the end of people’s lives so you really want to capture what their legacy is, who they were to his family and kind of make that important and it’s not just the disease,” said Jeziorski.

Her father-in-law’s experience gives Marion a deeper appreciation of the very hospice services she helps oversee.

“That made his quality of life, um, significant for that time,” said Marion.

Allied services provide hospice care in seven Northeastern Pennsylvania counties. It also offers in-patient hospice clinics in both Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties.

For information on Allied’s hospice services, you can visit their website.