Jackie's Story

Jackie's Story

Hi, I’m Jackie.

I’m 25-years-old. I was one of the very first Midland Memorial Hospital employees to sign up for the Advance Care Planning (ACP) and Advance Directive (AD) training. For many of you reading this, your first question might be “Why is someone so young wanting to know more about Advance Care Planning and Advance Directives? Isn’t that for older people?”  

The truth is, the four leading causes of death are heart attacks, strokes, accidents and cancer. Three of these four leading causes of death are sudden events and can happen to any of us, at any time.

In 2014, when our son was born, my husband and I agreed that it was not only important to create a will, obtain life insurance, and start saving for college, we realized that having Advance Directives is a crucial piece of being prepared. When the opportunity presented itself for us to complete our AD, we took advantage of the chance to check this off our list.

Taking the time to have those tough conversations was not easy by any means, but it brought clarity and comfort. By acknowledging our individual wishes and being aware of the responsibility serving as an agent holds, this is the best gift we could ever give to one another if we are faced with a tragedy.

After participating in MMH’s ACP part 1, I was equipped with confidence and knowledge to begin the conversation with my parents, sisters, and in-laws, about our individual health care preferences and what quality of life means to each of us individually. Through the process, there were many assumptions that we worked through to make sure we were all on the same page.  Beginning with the difference between Advance Care Planning and having an Advance Directive in place to discussing and designating the best agent for each of us. Above all, we came to the understanding that making these decisions is not something that can be determined in one day, it’s a journey that begins with the initial conversation and support – support that I gained through the ACP/AD training.

In the end, the surprise gift was not only the peace of mind we all feel having had this conversation and the time together, we were reminded again how deeply we love each other and will be there to support each other if needed.

Jaclynn was the very first participant to complete her AD.  Thank you Jaclynn for sharing your story!

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