EveryStep Hospice Team in Mount Ayr Gives Cyclone Surprise to 97-Year-Old

Neoma “Jean” Green has been an Iowa State University Cyclone fan for over 45 of her 97 years of life. When EveryStep Hospice in Mount Ayr found out, the team did something Jean’s daughter calls “heartwarming” and “unexpected.”

A lifelong Iowan, Jean grew up in Corning and moved to Prescott when she married Max, her husband of 62 years. Together, they raised five children, Jon (now deceased), Jan, Jolene, Jamie and Jeff. Today, Jean also celebrates 16 grandchildren and 37 great-grandchildren. When Max passed away 18 years ago, Jean moved to Regency Park retirement community in Creston, where she still resides.

Jean’s daughter, Jolene, along with Jana, daughter-in-law Jenny and her brothers are taking turns providing around-the-clock care for their mother at her apartment at Regency — a significant task, but Jean says there was no question whether they would be there for their mom. “It’s a blessing to be able to do this. We were blessed with wonderful parents and this is our way of saying thank you.” When Jean's health declined and extra help was needed for tasks like bathing, the siblings made the call to the EveryStep Hospice team in Mount Ayr.

“The team has been amazing,” says Jolene. “Mom is very private, and was anxious and uncomfortable about having someone help her with a bath at first." Now, she looks forward to her visits with Steph Schultz, a hospice aide with the EveryStep Hospice team in Mount Ayr. “Mom says Steph gives her the best shower and ‘lotions her up’ afterwards. She just loves her.”

Jolene says the EveryStep Hospice team in Mount Ayr is like family. She is impressed that Kristyn Mercer, team director, calls frequently to check in on things. “She calls to see if Mom needs anything and if she does, she brings it right over,” says Jolene. “The nurse and staff stop in frequently to do their job with Mom, but also to just visit. They’ve been just wonderful!”

When Tonya Pierson, social worker for the EveryStep Hospice team in Mount Ayr, learned what a lifelong Cyclones fan Jean is, she pulled some strings. “I don’t know how she basically did it in 24 hours, but she got a football personally signed to my mom by Matt Campbell (ISU Cyclones head football coach). Mom was so touched.” 

Jean loves the football so much that she asked her daughter to buy a glass case to put it in because she doesn’t want anyone to touch the football. She put something on top of the glass case and a picture frame in front of it so her great-grandchildren aren’t tempted to see it and try to hold it. “She’ll only let family touch it if we put it right back,” laughs Jolene, who calls her mom “spunky.”

Bringing smiles to patients and families is what EveryStep Hospice strives to accomplish every day, because hospice care is about living and making the most of every day. Through generous donations to the EveryStep Foundation, EveryStep Hospice’s Quality of Life program helps support patients and their families in personal ways. Whether helping to pay for utilities because finances are tight or recreating a favorite home-cooked meal, EveryStep helps our patients find quality of life on their terms. Sometimes this means fulfilling wishes and create lasting memories for patients and their families. “I would recommend EveryStep Hospice to anyone,” says Jolene.

EveryStep Hospice’s local hospice teams work with you and your family to create a customized plan for your care, which is covered by Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance policies. The EveryStep Foundation provides hundreds of thousands of dollars in charitable care each year, assuring care is available to everyone who needs it, regardless of ability to pay. EveryStep Hospice supports patients of all religions and beliefs.

For more information about EveryStep Hospice, with teams in Des Moines, Centerville, Mount Ayr, Mount Pleasant, Osceola and Winterset, along with Kavanagh House hospice home in Des Moines, visit  this webpage. To find care for yourself or a loved one, click here and fill out the easy, confidential online form. An EveryStep staff member will then contact you to offer support.