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Blog: Stories and Insight

Terry Sheerin – A Gift of Hope



White woman with baseball cap on her head. She is standing with her face close to a brown horse.
Samaritan Palliative Care Patient Terry Sheerin

Terry Sheerin knows firsthand the true gift of palliative care – and that is HOPE.

Terry was diagnosed with a serious illness that required additional medical support and symptom management. Her physicians mentioned palliative care as an option to consider – but Terry was hesitant, not knowing what palliative care was and what the process entailed.

“I chose palliative care at Samaritan after they got my disease under control,” explained Terry. “Dr. Goldfine and Samaritan were my advocates. I am a type A person and I need control – and if I’m not in control, I need clear, concise and honest communication. After meeting Dr. Goldfine, that is EXACTLY what happened.”

Palliative care is the medical specialty that addresses pain and symptoms to support quality of life at any stage of serious illness. The big differentiator between palliative care and hospice care is that the patient does not need to have a terminal diagnosis to receive supportive care. Palliative care can help manage symptoms and pain in the process of treatment and overall care – which results in better overall outcomes, helping patients live longer and better.

“Every step of the way, Samaritan has been there for me,” explains Terry. “If I was worried or if I said, ‘I don’t know…’ or ‘Am I doing the right thing?’… It was never ‘We’ll tell you what to do’ – It was ‘How do YOU feel about it?’… That really empowered me.”

Through Samaritan’s palliative care program, patients have access to a team of healthcare experts including physicians, nurse practitioners, case managers, social workers and more. They work with the patient’s other physicians to ensure they are honoring the patient’s goals for care, treatment and quality of life. Together, the care team works collaboratively to ensure that the focus remains on the patient – identifying their goals for care, managing symptoms and ensuring we meet each patient’s unique, personalized needs.

“When you hear of Samaritan’s palliative care, it is not the end – it’s the beginning of something different,” said Terry. “There is no better resource for a person with a significant illness or approaching end-of-life – the compassion, the honesty and the care they provide. Samaritan really is a gem.”

Support Palliative Services

Samaritan’s Palliative Medical program benefits patients like Terry. Your generous donation during our Samaritan Day of Giving can make a real difference in the care and lives of our palliative care patients and their families across the South Jersey region.

Click here for our secure online giving form.