86-year-old celebrates ‘remarkable’ recovery
There was no cap and gown. No Pomp and Circumstance. For 86-year-old Betty Millsap of Hartsville, Thursday was a still graduation day.
Betty’s husband, Jim, and a trio of nurses from Crescent Hospice, surprised her with a cake and a certificate announcing she had successfully graduated from hospice care.
“I’ve come a long way, baby,” said Betty, a big smile on her face. “This is a great day.” Jim and the nurses were in complete agreement. What Betty and endured and overcome in such a short period of time, they said, is something you don’t see very often.
“It’s pretty remarkable,” said Crescent Patient Care Manager Terre Strickland. “This lady was determined she would get better.
” According to Jim, Betty’s ordeal began in June 20, 2020 when she was diagnosed with pneumonia. After being released from the hospital, she was transferred to Morrell Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Hartsville.
“In the middle of a pandemic, it was not the most ideal time to be in that type of facility,” Strickland admitted.
After a two-week stay at Morrell, Betty returned home. In short time, she fell and broke her hip and wrist. After successful surgery, she was again transferred to Morrell.
Rehabilitation was not easy, but regular visits from her children gave her encouragement to keep working.
The day before Thanksgiving Betty returned home. She was still confined to a bed or a wheelchair, but she was home. Jim was informed that he needed to call either home health or hospice to care for his wife. He said he chose Crescent simply by chance.
“I think the Lord had something to do with it,” Jim insists.
Strickland, and fellow nurses Akamie Lucas and Chanda Fenters visited the Millsaps multiple times a week to assist with care and rehabilitation for Betty. They were also there to support Jim in whatever way they could.
In early February, Betty suffered what appeared to be a serious stroke. She could not move, eat or speak.
Jim said things were very touch and go for a while and there were discussions about funeral arrangements.
“We spent a whole lot of time in prayer,” he said.
Day by day, however, Betty gradually improved. The nurses, particularly Lucas, were amazed at her determination.
Now, a year since she was first transferred to Morrell with pneumonia, Betty is at home. She is still in a wheelchair, but she can speak very well, eats on her own, and even goes out shopping. It’s quite a remarkable recovery.
Jim can’t say enough about the nurses who took care of his wife of 20 years.
“They are angels,” said Jim. “The absolute best of the best. None of this would have been possible without the incredible love and care they have shown Betty and myself.”
The nurses said Betty’s celebration was a special day for them as well. “We’ve done this before,” said Strickland, “but it doesn’t happen very often. This lady is really special.”