“I Think Angels Live Here”

One day in 2012, eight-year-old Sophie Della Manna was visiting her mom, Terri’s office at McNally House Hospice. As they were leaving, Sophie saw volunteers cooking in the kitchen and a staff member interacting with a resident in the living room. She turned, wide-eyed to her mother and said, “Mom, I think the angels live here!”

How true this statement would be when Terri’s father, John Pachereva, became a resident at McNally House in July 2021, nine years after Sophie’s encounter with “angels”.

John Pachereva was a well-known businessman in Beamsville and Grimsby. After he died, many of his former employees wrote about his kindness, fairness and the care he gave to his community. His smile was engaging, his conversation was welcoming, and his laugh was contagious. “Gosh, golly, jingle,” was his favourite phrase.

When John needed more care, the Pachereva family turned to McNally House Hospice. The kindness and caring which encompassed John’s way of living, is in abundance at McNally. The staff and volunteers are dedicated not only to the residents, but also to their families and friends.

John’s wife, Teresa and her family cannot say enough about the care and compassion that they experienced from the nursing staff.  “These angels” cared for John with professional excellence, but even more than that, they treated him so lovingly. “These folks are so special, they treated us with as much care and love as they treated John.”

The family will forever cherish the “The Tree of Life” that they created, with the help of the art therapist, using finger prints from each of them.

In John’s final days, there was life in every moment, from polka music and the Bee Gees, to watching the Calgary Stampede, to the quietness and comfort of “just being”.

The patio outside John’s room became the spot where the family could gather in shifts and visit John through the screened door. John enjoyed having his bed wheeled out to the patio where he and Teresa could enjoy the summer breeze and the birds. One day, Teresa weeded the flower garden as John supervised!

John passed away peacefully in an atmosphere of love. In one of the tributes to John, it was said, “He has earned his angel wings”. To echo Sophie’s words, “I think the angels live here.”  

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