By Arlene Carter
Published in Providence Marianwood “Blessings”, Spring 2012 Newsletter
Anne Novak is a familiar face at Marianwood. For six years, she has been a regular member of the team who staff the Gift Nook. Anne helps sell gift items, stuffed animals and jewelry to raise money for Marianwood but more than that, she visits with residents, listens to their stories and shares many warm friendships as she helps them browse for treats and treasures in the Gift Nook.
Anne’s face is also familiar at Marianwood for another reason. For the past three winters through a series of circumstances, she has been a patient in the Transitional Care Unit (TCU).
“I enjoy volunteering more than being a patient,” says Anne. “But if I have to be a patient, I want to be at Marianwood where I know that I will be well cared for.”
Anne’s a woman who is short of stature and big on personality. She takes her responsibilities seriously and doesn’t like to miss her regular days at the Gift Nook. In 2009 and 2010, she was chagrined to have medical issues that landed her in the hospital and then for a stay at Marianwood as she recovered her strength before returning to her home at nearby Providence Point.
Hoping to make it through this winter without another inpatient stay at Marianwood, Anne thought she had it licked when she made it through December in good health. But one cold January day when Anne was taking out the garbage at her condo, she fell. No one heard her cries for help so she slowly and painfully pulled herself arm over arm back inside where she was able to summon help from a neighbor. A trip to the emergency room via aid car confirmed that her hip was broken.
After surgery, it was back to Marianwood’s TCU to recuperate and get important physical therapy to help regain her strength and ensure she could return safely to her home.
While Anne was healing at Marianwood, she and her daughter who lives in Montana decided that it was time to make some changes to make sure that Anne stays healthy and on her feet this time around. “I love Marianwood but I don’t want to be back as a patient any time soon,” she says with a sassy wink.
Now Anne has moved to Spiritwood, right next door to Marianwood, into an assisted living apartment where she gets more support and most imporantly, help is always close.
Of course, Anne intends to keep up her volunteer work with the Auxiliary. “Did you know that we have raised over $100,000 for Marianwood residents?” she boasts with well-deserved pride. “And last year alone the Auxiliary donated $8,000 from selling items in the Gift Nook and from the Estate Sales. Not bad, huh?!”
Anne wants everyone to know that she doesn’t do this all by herself. There are many people who work as Auxiliary members year-round to keep the Gift Nook running and to plan, acquire, price and put on the estate sales under the director of Anne Vadino.
Pictured: Anne Novak, pictured in the middle with some of her fellow Gift Nook volunteers, is a dedicated supporter of Marianwood as well as a three-time patient in the Transitional Care Unit