By Jim Langham, Times Bulletin Correspondent –
When Julie Stutz’s daughter started kindergarten 25 years ago, she needed something productive to do outside of the home. At first, she wanted to be a veterinarian’s assistant, but when she saw several people in the community that needed outside assistance, her heart bent that direction.
“I started seeing people in the community that needed help, a neighbor, family member, a friend and my professional sentiment started to go in that direction,” said Stutz. “I decided to give it a try.
“What I was called to do”
“When I made my first call, I knew that was what I was called to do,” continued Stutz. “I know every morning when I get up and drive to Community Health Professionals, that I have a purpose. My purpose is to help others.
“The first day you go in and meet somebody, you get attached,” added Stutz, referring to hospice. “You are there when they need you the most. There can’t be a time when they need you more than at the end of life. They deserve that; you want to make those days the best you can.”
Stutz said that there are times when patients need someone to talk to, and they are more apt to talk to a private nurse because they don’t want to put any more hurt on family members and caregivers. She said that it gives them someone to talk to with their private feelings.
It’s a blessing: making a difference
Stutz said that her heart sometimes breaks with what she discovers when she arrives in some homes. She cited the example of a patient with no family. When Stutz arrived, she discovered that there was no running water.
“I came back and said, ‘We need to do something. This house needs to be cleaned up, and there is no running water,’” said Stutz. “I got a hold of the supervisor, and she got a hold of a plumber. We got water running, and the other girls went over to help clean. Day to day, we always come into some situation that needs help.
“People often ask how I do it with some of the situations,” continued Stutz. “To me, it’s a blessing; it makes a big difference in their lives. They learn to trust you with all of their hearts. You walk in; they hold their hand up to you. They know you love them, and they want you to pray for them.
“Sometimes they turn things around and say a prayer for you. It is all such a blessing,” added Stutz.