Home for the Holidays program helps Stoddard Co. residents see family despite health problems

STODDARD COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - We know fall is here when the leaves change colors, and inside Golden Living center in Dexter, you can tell it's Thanksgiving by looking at Luedeana Eaton's door - because today is one of her favorites.

"It's wonderful... Yeah, wonderful," said Luedeana.

But the 88-year-old has problems in her legs and can no longer drive and has trouble even standing. That's where Stoddard County Ambulance district comes in with their Home for the Holidays program.

The idea is the ambulance comes to the retirement communities and drives the people to their families home, as long as it's still in Stoddard County.

"It's the only way to go," said Luedeana. "Have someone to come in here and get me and take me over there and take me back, it's wonderful!"

Even the paramedics prefer this compared to their normal calls.

"Not every day do we haul someone who's in decent health just for the enjoyment of seeing their family," said Joshua Sailer, who's been driving for the program for the last 8 years.

A short drive away and the ambulance arrives at Luedeana's daughter's house.

"And that ride was short," said Luedeana. "It takes no time, it seems, to get here."

"We're very thankful that she can be here because, without it, we wouldn't have the opportunity to spend the holidays with her," said Beth Schaffer, Luedeana's Granddaughter.

"It just makes it that much more special that she get's to be here and continue the family traditions," added Marcy Schaffer, another one of Luedeana's granddaughters.

A blessing for this family who now get's to all be together during the holidays.

Download the KFVS News app: iPhone | Android

Copyright 2016 KFVS. All rights reserved.