Maria, Joseph, and Katie

Donor Impact On
Hospice Care

Patricia Massey was a kind and vivacious woman. She loved to quilt and sew—she even made her own wedding dress. She married Joseph McNeely in May of 1985 and they adopted twin girls Katie and Maria in 1987.

An alto, Patricia sang with the Handel choir, the Pride of Baltimore, the Sweet Adelines, and the choir of St. Vincent de Paul Roman Catholic Church, where she was a member. Patricia also had been a board member of the Creative Alliance and served on the Baltimore School for the Arts’ Capital Fundraising Committee.

Patricia

A fierce advocate for the underserved, Patricia held several positions in the Baltimore Department of Housing & Community Development since the late 70s. In 1984, she helped then-Mayor William Donald Schaefer create the Baltimore Housing Partnership, where she served as Director for 10 years. She worked tirelessly on dozens of affordable housing projects in Baltimore City. Then, in her own company, Metroscape Development, she revitalized neighborhoods by building hundreds of affordable homes for ownership, becoming one of the very few early successful female developers in the state.

In 2014, while leaving her office one winter afternoon, she fell down a flight of stairs and suffered a severe traumatic brain injury. Patricia was taken to the hospital and remained in a coma for a few weeks. During the next 18 months, she was a patient at various Intensive Care Units, skilled nursing care facilities, and rehabilitation centers. In 2016, her family reconstructed their home to include hospital beds and mechanical lifts so as to be able to care for her there. Unfortunately, her health declined to the point where she needed constant professional care. After more stints of time in ICUs and skilled care facilities, space finally became available for her to come to Stella Maris in March of 2020.

Her daughter Katie says, When every institution in the world was closing their doors due to the pandemic, Stella Maris welcomed us.”

At Stella Maris, Patricia received excellent round-the-clock care from both Stella staff and private certified caregivers her family had hired. For nine months, her husband Joseph took an apartment at Mercy Ridge so as to stay close to her. His balcony faced Patricia’s room.

People were not able to visit in person due to the COVID-19 restrictions,” Katie recalls, “but the staff helped us stay in contact with Mom. We used technology like FaceTime and an Amazon Echo device equipped with a camera so we could ‘join’ her for dinner. The staff at Stella even helped Mom make signs to wave at us through the windows.

Katie goes on to say: “It was such a stressful, uncertain time—but we never doubted my mom was in the best hands. Everyone at Stella, from the nurses to the administrative staff to the custodians, they all treat guests so well. We watched the way they treated my mom while she was getting end-of-life care. We came to trust them as if they were a part of our own family.

Patricia passed away in February of the following year. Instead of flowers, the family asked that donations to Stella Maris be made in her memory.

Katie shares, “We grieve the loss of Mom every day, but we also know she was a person who lived her whole life giving back to others. My family and I wanted to honor that in some way. We knew from first-hand experience that Stella’s hospice services allow the dying to experience warmth, comfort, and dignity. So in addition to our family making donations, I also volunteer at the Stella Maris Crab Feast and the Wine Tasting fundraisers. Because I work at Loyola University Maryland as the Program Director for Advancement Events, I am glad to harness my skills to help other families in need of hospice services. I think Mom would have really loved that.

“When every institution in the world was closing their doors due to the pandemic, Stella Maris welcomed us.”

Katie McNeely, daughter

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