Four years ago, Gloria Ladoux was diagnosed with ALS, a debilitating motor neuron disease that had severe effects on the Valley grandmother.
"She went from 100 pounds to 79 pounds,” Gerrie Hanke, Ladoux’s daughter said. “It was loss of legs, loss of arms, not being able to move her head. The only thing that moved was her eyes."
Ladoux was confined to a bed at home, creating the need for an at-home nurse to help Hanke assist in caring for her mother.
The nurse that came to help was someone that Hanke now considers family.
"To come home and see that kind of care for my mom, it meant everything in the world to us,” Hanke said. “It was peace of mind for me knowing my mom was with somebody I trusted 100 percent."
Hanke said home care nurse Maria Supulchre went above and beyond anything she could have imagined when caring for the woman in the final months of her life. She did her mother’s hair, painted her nails, massaged her sore muscles, and treated Hanke’s mother as if she were her own.
"I have been a patient myself too, I've been in their shoes,” Supulchre said. “I just tried to treat her the way I wanted to be treated myself."
The pain and sadness of watching her mother wither away was made just a little easier by Supulchre, who made Ladoux feel like a person, not a patient.
After Ladoux’s funeral, Hanke reached out to CBS 5 to Pay it Forward to the nurse.
"We asked you out here today because I don’t feel just a thank you is good enough for job you did with my mom,” Hanke said. "So I reached out to Channel 5 to ask me to help Pay it Forward to you for the care you gave my mom.”
With the help of CBS 5 and Pay it Forward, Hanke was able to give Supulchre $500 to thank the nurse who now feels like a part of the family.
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