The Kathi Koll Foundation

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A Caregiver Story: The Gift of Heat

by: Kathi Koll on

 


Jody’s 85-year-old mother, Angelina, was literally dying from the cold in their home, but the family couldn’t afford a new heater.

Both heaters in the house had broken around the same time, leaving only space heaters to provide warmth this past winter. They used space heaters and blankets to make do, but the cold was taxing Angelina’s heart.

“It was freezing in the house, which caused her weak heart to beat faster” to maintain adequate body heat, Jody said. “Then she caught a cold, which caused her heart to beat even faster.” The strain eventually led Jody's mother to suffer a stroke around Christmas, and still they couldn’t solve the crisis. More than $1100 was needed to replace the broken heater in her mother’s room, but Jody said it would take at least a year to save that amount.

Every night, Jody would set repeated alarms for herself so she could turn on and off the space heater in her mother’s room. It wasn’t safe to simply leave it on, and regardless, it was inadequate to the task of keeping her mother warm.

The Kathi Koll Foundation was alerted to the problem and came to the rescue with the money needed to install a heater.

“This was huge,” Jody said. “She is just so happy now…. I can’t even express enough gratitude. When you have to care for somebody, your life changes, and it can catch you off guard; you can just plummet. A donation like this can change everything for you. To know my mother is warm, it’s been a huge, huge help in her overall health…. It means a lot. It was so valuable that I can’t even tell you how helpful this has been.”

 

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