It is often said that donors who generously support the VNA & Hospice Foundation through charitable giving will have long term impacts on patients’ lives. Nobody knows this more than Alexa. Alexa was born with arthrogryposis, a condition restricting the range and motion of her joints, which required surgery and extensive therapy. Alexa, at 12 years old, has been a patient for nine years, and for all those years, Alexa has needed the assistance of donors to pay for her much-needed physical therapy sessions that are only partially covered by insurance. 

Because VNA physical therapist Darlene Heglund has been working alongside Alexa since she was two months old, instead of their sessions feeling like work, “it’s more like Alexa is visiting with a friend,” said Alexa’s mom, Lulu. 

Alexa started middle school this past year and to promote her independence, Darlene has been working with her on wheelchair transfers - wheelchair to car, wheelchair to lunch table and wheelchair to desk. These exercises are precisely what Alexa needs to navigate campus on her own. 

Her condition will likely require another surgery, sometime post-high school, after which she will require additional therapy.

The VNA is the only local non-profit home health agency able to provide care for patients like Alexa whose medical coverage does not fully cover their health care needs. Contributions to the VNA & Hospice Foundation supplements the shortfall in coverage, helping patients and families receive excellent and compassionate care. With your support, Alexa and countless others will continue to experience a better quality of life. 

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The Nightingale Legacy Society honors those who have named VNA & Hospice Foundation beneficiary in their estate plans through charitable bequests, trusts, gift annuities or other provisions. Learn more about joining this esteemed group.