Wayne Estby’s story

Wayne Estby, a charismatic go-getter, says hospice doesn’t have to be sad. Although he’s dying, he says he’s uplifted by the angelic qualities of Ridgeview’s hospice program. Ridgeview had the rare opportunity to talk with this gracious, living hospice patient and learn how his humble upbringing as a poor farm kid transformed into a rich, end-of-life journey filled with gifts of time, love, happiness and peace. This is his story. . .
Wayne Estby’s story

Wayne Estby, a hard-working family man and successful auctioneer from Delano, is focusing on today because he doesn’t have many tomorrows left.

As he rests on the side of his hospice bed, nestled beside his sun-filled living room window, he courageously talks about living while dying. 

“Ridgeview Hospice allows me to feel as good as I can as long as I can,” he says. “I’m not scared. It’s going to happen and that’s that.”

More than a year ago, Wayne was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a rare blood disorder often referred to as bone marrow failure. After multiple blood transfusions and rounds of chemotherapy, this medically worn-out 79-year-old patient and his family were told he only had a few days to live.  

Wayne’s wife and primary caregiver, Thelma, the love of his life for 55 years, who he met at a dance in the summer of 1957, said after hearing the sad news conversations with Ridgeview Hospice started right away.

Their two sons, daughter, 10 grandkids and three great-grandkids couldn’t bear to say good-bye so soon. Thanks to Ridgeview Hospice, they didn’t have to. Wayne was able to hang on for four months in the comfort of his home.

“This is a bonus,” says their son Brad. Rather than miss holiday celebrations, birthdays and family reunions, Wayne was thrilled to experience it all.

Brad adds, “If dad was suffering, it would bother us, but he’s not. Ridgeview Hospice guided the process and allowed us to take a break from 24/7caregiving. It’s a huge relief to all of us.”

That makes Wayne happy.

“I’m living proof of why this program is extraordinary,” Wayne says. “I can continue to love my family, see the sun and feel blessed for waking up another day.”

Wayne’s tomorrows gently faded. He passed away in September, surrounded by his loving wife and family. Before he died, he said he was grateful for the hospice team’s medical responsiveness, tender care as well as the chaplain, and music and massage therapy services that brought uplifting comfort to him each day.

You can make a gift in honor of Wayne or in memory of someone special to you. 

It will positively impact Ridgeview Hospice services not covered by Medicare and allow patients like Wayne to savor every day.

With your gift of $35 or more, you’ll receive a handmade angel ornament personalized with a loved one’s name. Donate now.

Holiday Hope Event

Attend the 19th Annual Holiday Hope Event on Thursday, Dec. 3, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Ridgeview Community Auditorium at Ridgeview Medical Center. A Ridgeview chaplain will offer a presentation on working through grief as the holidays approach, and Music Therapist Christian Nielsen will provide entertainment. View the invitation.