Fishing for fulfillment: Organization makes dreams come true for hospice patients


Reporter - Kendall Downing

WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Ill. - Most of us have watched the health of a loved one decline, and their life slip away. But what if you could turn their attention away from the end and back toward happier days? One organization is making new memories for those running out of time.

It takes an army to get 71-year-old Thomas Norman to the pond. For much of his adult life, he was an avid fisherman.

"You could catch a fish for anything. Don't care what kind," he said.

But the years took their toll. His health is failing. He's in hospice care, usually confined inside the walls of a nursing home.

Friday, that wasn't the case - because he got a chance to fish again.

"I love being outdoors," said Norman.

Kamie Freeland is with the organization Hospice Dreams.

"We want them to have that fulfillment and feel like they've lived their life," she said.

It's an Illinois non-profit that helps patients find peace in their last days. There's an application process, but Freeland said they move quickly because time is ticking.

"He said rain or shine he wants to be out here," said Freeland.

Tom Norman's dream Friday meant dodging raindrops for a chance to hold a fishing pole one more time. He finally caught one, but wasn't willing to stop there.

"Won't be the last," he said.

Norman believes he'll be back on the pond again.

"I have caught plenty of fish," said Norman.

Hospice Dreams serves patients in Illinois and Missouri.

For their contact information, click here.