Francis Gonzales’ spirit shines bright. At 87, you can see her vivaciousness and sense her joy and generosity. She is Kahuku Medical Center’s first hospice patient. Iris Kahaulelio, Francis’ daughter, teaches science at Kahuku High School and every day after school, together with her 4 year old daughter Elia, they spend
their afternoons with Francis. Iris uses the time to straighten out her mother’s room and check in with nurses. Together they watch tv, share conversation and eat snacks. Elia greatly enjoys snacks with grandma! On this day, Iris was setting up a new fragrance room diffuser and had recently put up some Christmas decorations in her mom’s room.
Iris is so grateful Francis is being cared for at Kahuku Medical Center. KMC is nationally recognized for its Long term care program, and was awarded a 5 star rating from the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services in 2013. There happened to be an available bed at KMC, and KMC accepted the hospice referral.
Prior to coming to KMC, Francis was at another hospital for four weeks where she frankly stated “I don’t want to be here.” Francis vocalized that at KMC “I’m so happy here. Everyone is so nice.” Iris sees good teamwork not only among the clinical staff at KMC but particularly between the KMC nursing staff and the hospice agency to solve some of Francis’ medication issues and side effects she was experiencing. “Though Mom sometimes has better days than
others, I’ve seen her transformation from the care here. She’s even feeding herself now!” observes Iris.
Iris is also pleased her mother is fortunate to get her own private room, situated ideally on the corner, with a lot of sunlight and a view out toward the ocean. Francis enjoys the cooking activities, crafts, and spa days in KMC’s activity room. Francis eagerly showed off her newly painted bright red fingernails. Every Thursday is a field trip, usually to enjoy a meal with other patients outside of the hospital. KMC is honored to serve Francis and her family.