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VNA Stories

Family is a Constant


Dorothy has spent most of her life in Kaufman County. Born as one of 12 children to a cotton-farming family in the small community of Jiba, Dorothy grew up splitting her time between school and the cotton fields.

“The cotton was harder work than school,” Dorothy remembers. But between the two, she learned an appreciation for the value of hard work, faith, community and family that has been a steady guide through her 91 years of life. She has spent most of her life caring for her family and serving her community. Now living with her daughter Pam in Sachse and a patient with VNA Hospice Care, her family and VNA have the opportunity to help care for her.

“I don’t know what I would do without VNA Hospice Care,” Pam says. “Before we started with VNA, mom spent two weeks in the hospital and we thought it was the end. I never thought we’d be here eight months later and I attribute that to VNA.”

Dorothy got married in 1946 to James Wimpee, just after he returned from the war, and the two of them remained in Kaufman. Dorothy worked as a waitress until the children were born; James worked for the city of Dallas, helping maintain the fleet of city vehicles. He retired in 1979, then promptly went to work doing the same job for Kaufman.

Dorothy and James were used to a full house. In addition to their own children, the youth pastor at First Baptist Church of Kaufman used to live with them, and they found themselves entertaining 30 to 40 kids every weekend. The two were married more than 50 years before he passed away in 1998 and Dorothy moved to Sachse.

“I decided I should move up from Kaufman to Sachse,” Dorothy said. “I wanted to take care of my grandkids and help raise them.” She’s still helping raise kids today – one of her great joys is spending time with her two-year-old great-granddaughter. She still maintains her routine, and enjoys reading, playing Yahtzee, working crosswords, playing dominoes and spending time with her family.

“The VNA Hospice Care nurses have become her friends and part of the family,” Pam says. “They always know exactly what’s happening, and they help me help her. With VNA, we always know what to do. With their help, we’ve avoided at least three trips to the hospital. Calling VNA Hospice Care is the best thing we ever could have done.”

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