Rice Lake (WQOW)- Being in the hospital, or under long-term care isn't easy for most people, or their families. It's a situation that comes with many emotions, including stress and sadness. One man is working to bring a different kind of emotion into the mix.
Bill Tews has been a hospice volunteer since 2006, and in the past five years he's made over 400 visits with hospice patients, traveling over 12,000 miles to provide companionship and support.
"Probably the tipping point for me was when my mom was ill and passing away and was involved in hospice," said Bill as he recalled when he first began his involvement with hospice. He also volunteers at Lakeview Hospital in Rice Lake, popping into patients rooms with a smile and a hello.
"When he's talking to you, you know you have his undivided attention. He wants to hear what you're going to tell him, he wants to hear your stories, he makes you feel important." said Tammy Koger, who works closely with volunteers at the hospital.
Whether visiting with someone in the hospital, or in a hospice setting, his patience, and kindness always shine through.
"Maybe they really enjoy listening to music," says Bill, "You find out what kind of music it is and you put it on your iPod and have them put a pair of iPod headphones on for the first time."
"It's not only that he's interested in the individual, he's interested in the families as well," adds Darlene DeNucci, administrator at Heritage Manor, "and it means a lot to them that he takes the time to get to know them."