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SCAD brings joy to local family

Sunday, November 25, 2012

MIKE MCCOY-mmccoy@dailystatesman.com Stoddard County Ambulance District's Home for the Holidays helped Betty Larsen, in front, get back to her home near Aid for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Shown standing from left are Paramedic Becky Hager, EMT Becky Hager, Betty's son, Steve, and daughter-in-law, Kay.
BLOOMFIELD, Mo. - Stoddard County Ambulance District (SCAD) Home for the Holidays has been a real blessing for Betty Larsen and her family. Last year the ambulance district transported Larsen home for Christmas. This year an ambulance picked Betty up at Golden Living Center in Bloomfield and took her to her former home south of Aid to be with her family and enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

For 26 years the Stoddard County Ambulance District has been providing nursing home residents with a way to get home for the holidays. The service was started in 1986 as a way for those in nursing homes who could not travel without supervised medical care to spend time with the family in a home setting.

Betty's son, Steve, and his wife, Kay, were at Golden Living Center Thanksgiving Day visiting with Betty before the ambulance arrived. Betty suffered a stroke in 2009 which left her paralyzed on the left side.

Betty grew up in Southeast Missouri, but moved to St. Louis after she married Leon. The couple moved back to a farm off Highway F south of Aid. They built a house there. Later they built a log home. Leon died in 2008.

Steve also lived in St. Louis Couty and worked as a fireman. He and Kay moved to Blooomfield after his retirement to be closer to his parents.

Steve's son, Jeff, moved into the house on the Larsen home place and still lives there with his wife, Tina. They have two children. Jeff is assistant manager at the Scott County Ambulance Service. He formerly worked at SCAD.

Kay and Tina and prepared a turkey, all the trimmings and other side dishes that normally adorn the tables at Thanksgiving for the visit. There were seven of them, including Betty and her great granchildren.

Paramedic Becky Hager and EMT Nick Caldwell from SCAD arrived sharply at 10:30 a.m. Everyone was all smiles as they prepared Betty for the transport home.

"This is just really great for our family," says Steve. "We really appreciate this service by the ambulance district. Mom would not be able to spend Thanksgiving at home with the family without it."

SCAD Manager David Cooper says the district enjoys providing Home for the Holidays because it brings so much happiness to the families they serve.

"The holiday season is a time that families should be together, and we understand that due to physical limitations this can be impossible for some," said Cooper. "It's our gift to the community, and we enjoy providing this service."

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