Care center resident receives Twilight Wish to dine with family
by Marie Nesmith
Feb 21, 2012 | 2573 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Joan Brown gets her hair styled by Karen Tate, activities director at Cartersville Heights Care and Rehabilitation Center, where Brown is a resident and is getting ready to go out with her son for a steak dinner as part of the center’s Wish Upon a Twilight Star program.
DAYTON P. STRICKLAND/The Daily Tribune News
Joan Brown gets her hair styled by Karen Tate, activities director at Cartersville Heights Care and Rehabilitation Center, where Brown is a resident and is getting ready to go out with her son for a steak dinner as part of the center’s Wish Upon a Twilight Star program. DAYTON P. STRICKLAND/The Daily Tribune News
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On Sunday, Joan Brown became the belle of the ball as she donned her Valentine's dress and dined with family. A resident of Cartersville Heights Care and Rehabilitation Center for more than 10 years, Brown's fulfilled request was made possible through the internal Wish Upon a Twilight Star program that is available to residents at SunBridge Healthcare facilities.

"Karen was nice enough to put my makeup on me and do my hair," Brown said, referring to Karen Tate, director of activities at Cartersville Heights. "Then at the last minute I put my dress on. [I went to] LongHorn Steakhouse [with my son]. His wife came too [and] my brother and nephew were there too. It meant a lot to me. The food [also] was great. I had a New York strip steak and a shrimp [appetizer]."

After suffering a stroke at 35, when her son was 17, Brown came to the Cartersville facility for assistance. With her legs and left arm being paralyzed, she relies on a wheelchair for transport. To help Brown, 47, receive her wish, Mary Jaramillo -- education and training coordinator for SunBridge Healthcare -- covered the cost of her meal.

"As a mother of a teenage son myself, I felt that to bring them together was the right thing to do," said Jaramillo in a news release.

For Tate, assisting in Brown's evening out was a joyous occasion on Sunday.

"Her son stated that this was the best thing that has happened to Joan since she's been here in 12 years," Tate said, adding LongHorn also contributed to the special outing by setting the table with linens and a floral centerpiece. "So that made me feel really good. This is my dream job. We have fun. There is a lot of paperwork but to see their faces, see their spirits uplifted, you can't explain [what it means]. ... I've only been here since October of 2010.

"So this is all kind of new for me but I love this program and I am so thankful for my job and working with our residents. It's something different every day. You don't know what's going to happen. It's an adventure."

To learn more about the Twilight Wish program, visit www.sunbridgehealthcare.com/About_Us/Twilight_Wishes.aspx.