A Wish to Go Fishing

John Patton

Like most fishermen, John Patton always loved the feel of a fishing pole in his hand, especially when he felt a tug on the end of the line. So when Ginger Harrison, a volunteer coordinator for Compassus in Branson, Mo., asked the retired Ohio state trooper if he had any wishes to fulfill, he requested wetting a hook one more time.

Table Rock Lake — a fisherman’s paradise — is within a short drive of Wedgewood Gardens, the assisted living center where John lives in Branson West. Table Rock is renowned for its large numbers of white bass, Kentucky spotted bass, crappie, large bluegill and catfish.

Ginger contacted local hospice volunteers Gail and Bill Compton, who arranged for their friends Jim Kanyo and Mike Brandsma from United Methodist Church of Kimberling City to furnish a boat and gear and act as fishing guides.

John, accompanied by nursing aide Lee Richardson, boarded the pontoon boat, cast his line and spent a good day swapping tales with his new fishing buddies while waiting for the fish to bite.

We cherish the special memories we create with our patients and are thankful to Wedgewood Gardens and United Methodist Church of Kimberling City for helping us to create this meaningful moment for John.

By Janet Gard