To the editor:

We are so very fortunate to have the Country Center for Rehabilitation in our community and even more fortunate to have had them be part of our family.

My mom needed to begin what would be a long and difficult rehabilitation from a stroke. From the moment my mom settled in in April, it felt right. It was the middle of the COVID pandemic, yet Missy and Helen could not welcome our family more warmly.

They had a unique compassion for families and went above and beyond to make sure we felt welcome and safe. I visited my mom at all hours. It was always the same, they went through COVID protocol quickly and helped get me to see her.

Mom had a wonderful team on the first floor helping her navigate speech, physical and occupational therapy. The nursing staff knew her and it was very clear how very much they cared. She was always clean, nicely dressed, smiling and grateful for the warmth she felt from them even though she was often not verbal.

Weeks passed and she was moved to the third floor. She was upbeat and positive and the tremendous nursing staff on the third floor continued to go well above and beyond expectations. They made her tea, had her hair done, and slowly helped her to eat and try to enjoy simple things like music and conversation.

Every single day I arrived unannounced, and my mom would tell me how lovely people were to her and how staff would always get her a blanket, water, or simply talk with her and have a laugh.

Nicole had her outside in the sunshine with a straw hat and sunglasses. Tracey and Martin would tell me how she was sleeping and eating every day.

Last Monday, Tracey called, as she often did, but this time to let me know my mom was breathing differently than she had been the day before. I went down immediately and sat with her.

She closed her eyes for the last time later that morning. I will forever remember the kindness and compassion shown to us by the entire staff at the Country Center.

Without exception, from the medical staff, to the rehabilitation team, the activities group and the administration, they are consummate professionals and well deserve our sincere gratitude. We are blessed to have stellar heroes among us.

Gail Lattrell and family

West Newbury

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