“We were all caught by surprise by the place shutting down.”
That’s why Randy Ickes of Somerset County in early July while he was protesting the closure of the Family Hospice House.
That’s been his home for the last three months.
“Well, we have to try and find another place to go to,”
Randy’s daughter, Alexa Lucas, told us that he sadly passed away on July 26th.
The Family Hospice House was his final resting place.
“He didn’t want to leave, and he never had to,”
Randy died just a few days before the Family Hospice House was set to close on August 1st.
“He was very upset about them closing. That’s why he was so involved in protesting for the hospice house to stay open,” Alexa said.
Community protests over the last few weeks didn’t change the outcome.
The decision left hundreds of families upset about losing that kind of end-of-life care.
Formerly known as In Touch, the home is also referred to as God’s House by community members.
“He was so happy there. He loved all the nurses there. Everybody there treated him so great. He had a great time there joking around with them. He had the freedom to do his own thing there,”
“As more patients choose to have services provided in the comfort of their homes, we have seen, not surprisingly, a considerable decline in the number opting for inpatient hospice care since 2014,” he continued.
That’s what Alexa’s sister, Olivia, had before she passed away in 2020.
“They took great care of my sister during her last week of life,”
Meanwhile, Randy’s timing was everything.
He luckily got to meet his new baby granddaughter.
“I think he was waiting. He held out to meet Luna,”
Instead of moving out, Randy’s family says he moved to heaven instead.
“He went peacefully there, and I think it was what he would have wanted,”