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Phyllis: Receiving and Giving Hope

During the six years that Howard Schwartz struggled with Parkinson’s disease, the Manhattan resident received care from many different VNSNY clinicians. “Every single time anyone from the Visiting Nurse Service of New York came into our home, I was absolutely amazed at the kindness, the competence, and the caring they showed in working with Howard,” says his wife, Phyllis Schwartz. “This is a wonderful organization because it’s so human.”

Following the visit of a particularly empathetic and comforting nurse, Phyllis decided to express her gratitude in the form of a financial contribution. “The nurse just lifted my spirit and gave me hope for the future,” she recalls. “She was so exceptional, I sent a grant of $1,000 to the organization with a note that said, ‘I was distraught, and you sent us an angel.’”

Phyllis’s contributions have expanded over the years. Today, she generously supports several VNSNY programs, including the Hospice Physician Fellowship Program—reflecting her appreciation for the hospice care her husband received. “I’m always interested in helping people to live better, even if it’s only for a short time, at the end of life. Howard did, thanks to the marvelous VNSNY Hospice team,” she says. “He was not frightened in his final days. VNSNY Hospice’s gift to me and my children was enabling Howard to die at home in his own bed, as calm, peaceful and dignified in death as he was in life.”

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