Friends, grant help Gosnell woman come home

Saturday, December 8, 2012
Bridgett Keeling Fuemmeler is pictured with her aunt, Rita Keeling, in a health care facility in Missouri.

A Gosnell family has much to be thankful for this holiday season, thanks to the help of friends and a grant program which have helped give one of their loved ones a new lease on life.

Bridgette Keeling Fuemmeler has recently been able to move back into her home after spending several years in nursing homes, thanks to a grant from the Money Follows the Person Program, facilitated to her family by Absolute Care Management.

In 2004, at age 37, Fuemmeler suffered a massive stroke and brain bleed, which left her partially paralyzed and in need of 24-hour care. After moving from hospital to hospital, the only funding options left to her family was to have the mother of three in nursing home care, where according to her family, she lost much of the progress she had made while in recovery facilities.

In 2010, after Fuemmeler had suffered both an extreme decline and an injury while in a nursing home, her mother, Sue Lucious, contacted Money Follows the Person and was put in touch with Absolute Care Management.

According to Courtney Shackleford of Absolute Care Management, her organization helped Fuemmeler's family through the grant application process and oversaw the project which would transition her from a nursing home to in-home care. When funding became available, a room in the family's home was renovated to suit Fuemmeler's needs.

"The community came together to help Bridgette and her family," said Shackleford. "It's a wonderful story and a true testament to the kindness of the Gosnell community and the staff of Absolute Care. This was a long process ... required lots of paperwork and waiting, and every dime had to be accounted for and explained in full. Bridgett, her family, and our agency were very determined to see this through, and the diligence paid off, ending in a safe and happy home for Bridgette."

Members of the Gosnell community volunteered their time and skill to do the renovation work, and Fuemmeler now lives in an in-home suite, complete with an exit large enough for emergency access, a wheelchair ramp, a handicap-accessible shower room and all the equipment needed for her 24-hour care.

Fuemmeler now is receiving the necessary medical care and able to be among family and friends all the time. Absolute Care provides 56 hours a week of medical care, and Lucius fills in during the evenings with her daughter. She said that her fellow citizens of Gosnell, along with friends and family, pitched in to get the work done and made the transition possible.

"She's a lot happier at home than she was in the nursing home," said Lucius. "She's getting weaker, but she's happy, she knows everybody and she knows everything. Her son and daughter come and visit her, and she's as happy as she can be. I really appreciate everything that Absolute Care has done, they've got her home with me so I can see that she's taken care of. The community of Gosnell helped us get this room going, we couldn't have done it by ourselves. They do good work, they're great people."