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Visit worthy of Oz for Shepherd of the Valley resident

September 13, 2012
By Kathleen Palumbo , Town Crier correspondent

Though there was no declaration from the great and powerful, and despite age, illness, and circumstances, on Friday, Sept. 7, 91-year-old Annabelle McFadden served as proof that there is in fact no place like home.

Currently a resident at Shepherd of the Valley Boardman, McFadden formerly made her home in an apartment at the Phoenix House Senior Living Community in Austintown, where she lived for 11 years until a terminal health condition required the care of professionals.

McFadden longed to return for a visit with her buddies at Phoenix House, where she ran Bingo. According to a Shepherd of the Valley press release, McFadden is aware that her time is short and shared with the staff, "I want to wish them well and tell them good-bye." McFadden also said she wanted to bequeath some of her possessions to her friends.

Article Photos

Photo special to the Town Crier
Accompanied by three of her 14 grandchildren, Shepherd of the Valley Boardman resident Annabelle McFadden recently visited her former home at Phoenix House in Austintown, where a surprise party awaited her.

Enter Second Wind Dreams. Founded in 1997, according to its website, Second Wind Dreams is an international nonprofit organization intent on enhancing the quality of life for those living in eldercare communities by granting dreams.

With McFadden sharing that she keeps in touch as much as she can, because most of her Phoenix House friends no longer drive, they haven't been able to visit her since her move to SOV Boardman.

Although she knew she was returning for a visit, it soon became clear that her return to her former home was clearly much more when McFadden was greeted by more than 20 of her friends, as well as her son, for a surprise party.

"All my friends were there. They all came over and gave me a kiss," she said, adding that each of them brought a dish to share and that she went to her apartment and gathered some of her clothes to share with them.

A simple wish perhaps, but with a little coordination and a few surprises thrown in, for McFadden, a modest request became a dream come true.

And so it would seem that through their affiliation with Second Wind Dreams, at their four communities in Mahoning and Trumbull counties, Shepherd of the Valley not only grants the wishes of numerous elders throughout its facilities, but in doing so, awards many of its staff the opportunity to serve as the one behind the curtain feeling like the great and powerful Oz even if just for a day.



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