A Caregiver Story: Surviving Amidst Loss
by: Kathi Koll on
While on active duty in the military, the life of Jacqueline's son was cut short.
The loss hit the whole family hard, but it had a particularly strong effect on Jacqueline. She already suffered from both bipolar and post-traumatic stress disorders, and she also had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and spinal disc degeneration among other health issues.
Her daughter Jessica stepped forward to care for her mother, but the transition has not been easy. With the advent of Covid-19, Jessica’s new job as a dance teacher was no longer available. Her mother also had to move across country from Maryland to California to join her daughter, and with so little income, the family couldn’t afford enough furnishings for their apartment.
In order to make due, Jacqueline slept in the lone bed, while Jessica used a leaky air mattress on the floor. Their most pressing needs included not only bedroom furnishings, but also a stove. The Kathi Koll Foundation stepped forward to provide everything, including a brand new GE range and about $950 for a bed, dresser and vanity.
Now they can cook and sleep comfortably while ensconced at home during the coronavirus crisis, which poses particular challenges due to Jacqueline’s frail respiratory health.“Those gifts have definitely helped our quality of life,” Jessica said. “It feels great to have a complete room, especially when we are at a time when we have to stay home. It was definitely a ray of sunshine in the midst of all the commotion happening in the world.”