Volunteers: No One Should Have to Die Alone

Volunteers: No One Should Have to Die Alone

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Ed Yeates reportingNo one should have to die alone! That's what some new Utah volunteers say, at least under their watch at two Salt Lake hospitals.

Martha Melo is dying. She knows it - so does her family. Her daughter has been staying with her in this room at LDS Hospital.

Martha Melo: "I love her and she's going to be there for me. Good or bad, she's going to be there."

Martha will not die alone. Nor will she be forgotten when she finds a final resting place. But others are not so fortunate, not only here, but in the weeks, the days, the hours before they die.

For all the Martha's and Joe's who aren't this lucky - who don't have loved ones at their bedside - the touch, the feel, the words will now be there.

NO ONE DIES ALONE is a new program at two IHC hospitals, mostly for people from chaotic or distant families who don't have someone. And even more..

Helen Rollins/ Director, LDS Hospital Bereavement Program: "We have an ever increasing homeless population who literally have no family, and the third component is as people age, they've often outlived their family."

In fact, a homeless man was one of the patients this group sat with.

Rollins: "What was said by them and by some of us is that might have been the very best week of his life in terms of human relationships."

One volunteer calls the feeling of warmth and peace at bedside for her - exhilarating.

Judy Arrington/ "Never Die Alone" Volunteer: "There was a nurse on one side and myself on the other, and to have her look at us and just pass away..."

Some call this a profound human to human experience. Martha Melo believes without it, the end is "empty."

"It's important to know that somebody is there for you."

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