Medical supply donation program helps bring woman home after surgery
After he passed, Lyons kept the bed. She just couldn't give it up. "I just held on to it because that was where I would go each night the last thing I would do at night would be to pat his head and give him a kiss," Lyons said.
Posted By: Bayley Bischof Channel 8 Eyewitness News
Joann Lyon's husband spent his last days in this hospital bed. He died in may 2016 after battling pancreatic cancer.
After he passed, Lyons kept the bed. She just couldn't give it up.
"I just held on to it because that was where I would go each night the last thing I would do at night would be to pat his head and give him a kiss," Lyons said.
Then one day, in early December, months after her husband George died, Lyons walked by the bed and knew it was time to let go.
"I started calling all over the place– the Salvation Army, Goodwill, Catholic Social Services, different charitable organizations but nobody wanted it," She said.
At the same time, in Weeping Water were two daughters of 77–year–old Marlee Diltz.
Annette and her sister Vickie were looking for a hospital bed so their mom could come home from rehab, but they couldn't afford to buy one.
but they couldn't afford it.
"I called for two days, everybody, I went through the phone book... we just wanted a hospital bed, there was no way we could bring her home," Annette that.
They were desperate, and Lyons was running out of place to call.
But within weeks of each other both stumbled onto Galen Bernadt, with Lincoln ED Connection's, phone number.
"Lincoln ED Connections is a free program and we help to connect people to the healthcare resources they need." Bernadt said.
Joann had a bed, and Marlee needed one. After a few calls to Galen, it worked out, they got the bed.
While it may just seem like metal bars and a mattress, to Marlee, who recently had her leg amputated, it's everything.
"It's been a real life saver," Marlee said."The railings at the top, I can grab ahold and get out or get ahold and pull myself up that way it's not so much hard work on them."
Marlee has eight kids. She raised them alone, and worked three jobs.
Her kids knew they had to repay her, and couldn't bear the thought of putting her in a nursing home.
"She needs to be home. She doesn't need to be in a place where–we love her. We want her home," Annette.
And she is home- thanks to Bernadt and Lyons.
Annette remembers the moment she got the call saying the bed was available.
"I can tell you exactly where I was, I'm the custodian at Lincoln Christian so I was in the Elementary gym, I was on the power scrubber and it was my last phone call and I said lord I don't know what to do." Annettte said. "We need this to bring her home, I didn't know who else to call and I called him and he said he had one. It was a Christmas miracle. It was that important to have that bed. It may not seem like much but to us it was everything for us. Everything."
Lyons said she says she had nothing to do with it, that it was her husband George's spirit that made it all happen.
"My husband was a man with a big heart. If somebody needed something no matter what it was and he could provide it, they had it," Lyons said.
Marlee's family will be grateful to Joann forever, they said.
"I just love her," Marlee said.
The medical supply donation program that made this story possible is a partnership between Lincoln ED Connections, the Reuse Network and Bryan Health. Galen Bernadt, with ED connections coordinates medical donations such as the one in this story. He takes donations of any durable, reusable medical supplies. To find out more about this program go to BryanHealth.com and search "Emergency Service."