Dominique Youakim and Meagan Ruot (holding a picture of her father, Randy Seaton) preparing to fly over Herrick.
Randy Seaton, of Effingham, had a long battle with Lung Cancer before being admitted to Hospice care through HSHS Hospice Southern Illinois. Seaton had grown up in Herrick and had always wished to fly over the farm where he grew up in a helicopter. Through the Everlasting Memories program, HSHS Hospice wanted to make Seaton’s last wish a reality. Unfortunately, Seaton’s health declined and he passed away on March 10, 2016.
The Staff at HSHS Hospice still wanted to grant Seaton’s last wish for his family. Therefore, they contacted Dominique Youakim, of Aerinova, Inc. located at the Coles County Memorial Airport in Mattoon. Youakim donated a flight to the Seaton family. On January 28, 2017, Youakim flew the Seaton family, who brought a photo of Randy along, from the Pana Fairgrounds over Herrick. HSHS Hospice held a catered luncheon for 60 of Randy’s family members at the Pana Christian Church with a balloon launch after.
Randy Seaton’s daughter, Meagan Ruot, explained what this experience meant for her family. “For HSHS Hospice to grant us Dad’s last wish means everything to our family! Words cannot express how much this means to us. As soon as Dad was admitted to hospice, he was interested in this flight. Unfortunately, he wasn’t on hospice for 24 hours before he passed away and for them to still grant Dad’s wish in honor of him means so much. The last thing on Dad’s bucket list became the number one thing on ours. Then to also offer us a luncheon together was definitely a surprise and just goes to show how much HSHS Hospice cares for their patients and their families. The luncheon was just as important as the memory flight because it brings our entire family and friends together in memory of my father and to celebrate his life. We are forever grateful for everything HSHS Hospice and Dominique Youakim has done for our family, even after Dad is no longer with us. We appreciate everything they did to check off the last thing on my father’s bucket list!”
The Everlasting Memories program is funded through contributions from the HSHS St Anthony’s Foundation. The HSHS St Anthony’s Foundation fundraises for programs like Everlasting Memories through events like Glow-INGA and the Butterfly Ball. For additional information on how to help, contact Michael Wall, Director of Philanthropy at extension 1854 or email Michael.Wall@hshs.org.