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Bozeman paramedics make holidays happier for some assisted living residents

By Katherine Mozzone, KTVM Reporter, kmozzone@ktvm.com
Published On: Nov 22 2012 05:31:15 PM MST
BOZEMAN, Mont. -

Roanne Kundert is excited to spend Thanksgiving with her family.  

"My grandchildren will be there, just our happy family days, like we've always had," says Kundert.

She's a resident at Emeritus at Spring Meadows Assisted Living and hasn't been home since Easter, as it's become more difficult for her to move around.  Plus, getting in and out of the house is stressful for both her and her family.  

But not this Thanksgiving.

Folks with Bozeman's American Medical Response are picking up Roanne and taking her home.  They'll also pick her up, all for free.

We followed Roanne to her daughter's home where her family was waiting.

As special as the trip home is for Roanne, it also means a lot to her family.

"Her face lit up.  It was just great to see her and some of the aids that were there were saying all morning that's all she could talk about is she's coming out here for Thanksgiving.  And how excited she was and it makes you feel good as a child that you can do something like this to make your parents so happy," says Roanne's daughter Kaye Orosz.

Two of her grandchildren were there to give her hugs, one of Roanne's favorite things.  Before long, she was sipping coffee and telling stories, while her granddaughter worked on Thanksgiving dinner.

"It's great.  Already I hear the laughter and smell the goodies cooking because I've got some good cooks in my family.  Maybe they learned it from me.  Did you?" Roanne looked at her daughter, stuffing mushrooms by the stove.

Paramedics with AMR say they usually see people at their worst.  That's why bringing folks like Roanne home to see their familys is so rewarding.

"It touches our hearts in a real nice way and that joy that we're bringing to the families.  This makes us happy," explains AMR paramedic Kevin Lauer.

For Roanne's family, it's certainly a Thanksgiving they'll never forget.

"I don't know how to even thank these guys for doing this.  It's so wonderful, what they're doing to make our day special," says Orosz.

Roanne agrees.

"What an experience?  This will go in my book, records book of things I've done.  I'll just have to find my book first," she says.

American Medical Response will also provide the service Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  For more information, contact AMR at 586-0037.