Hospice grants 92-year-old’s wish

Miamisburg resident Thomas Quillen, 92, was surprised recently with VIP treatment during a Dayton Dragons game.

The event was made possible through Crossroads Hospice’s Gift of a Day program. The program is geared toward learning about the patient’s perfect day and making it a reality. Crossroads Hospice is located in Dayton.

Quillen’s wish was to see a baseball game. He and his family enjoyed press box seats and team memorabilia from the Dayton Dragons.

Quillen, who lived in Germantown most of his life, was also featured on the team’s jumbotron.

“He really, really enjoyed himself,” step-daughter Gwen Klemmer said. “He told me the best part was seeing all the little kids.”

Klemmer and her husband, John, joined Quillen at the baseball game. Quillen married Klemmer’s mother, Eliza, in 2004; she was 72 and he was 82.

“He and mom were very busy,” Klemmer said. “They visited the senior center in Germantown every week. He was always very active in his church.”

Quillen worked at Armco, and retired to start farming. He also enjoys working in the flower beds and playing corn hole.

Gift of a Day was inspired by The Ultimate Gift, a novel by Jim Stovall.

“We ask them and their family what would they like to do if tomorrow were their last day,” volunteer coordinator Doree McBride said. “Whatever they say, we just try to make it happen. People have options with Hospice. There are at least 12 Hospices in the Miami Valley. We like to go above and beyond what is required.”

Quillen’s health is steady, and he has good days and bad days.

“He’s always got a smile on his face,” Klemmer said. “He loves life. He’s a very kind man and he was very good to my mom.”

Klemmer’s mother passed away in December, and she was also a patient at Crossroads Hospice.

“Hospice is so different,” Klemmer said. “You used to think of dying but it’s really about living and the quality of life.”

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