Mr. Flagg, Meet Merlin!

When Emanuel Flagg began receiving care from Hospice of the Western Reserve’s Lakewood home care team, he told the social worker he still had two things on his bucket list. One: Go bowling with his family. Two: Ride a horse.
 
Volunteer Service Managers Lori Scotese and Lisa Waryck went right to work to make both wishes a reality through HWR’s Moments to Remember. The program enhances patients’ quality of life by fulfilling their special wishes.
 
A gift card was provided so Mr. Flagg could treat his family to a bowling party.
 
And this week, he got to ride a horse!

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“Mr. Flagg was all ready to go in his cowboy attire, including a cowboy hat and cowboy boots,” said Julia Wasilewski,” hospice social worker. “I joined him at Valley Riding, located at Rocky River Stables in the Cleveland Metroparks.
 
“The instructor was named Marty, and the handsome horse was Merlin. Marty was wonderful, to say the least. She not only helped Mr. Flagg with riding but provided him with so much education. A couple of facts we learned: horses talk with their tails, and the horse’s eyes are their best defense mechanism. 
 
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“Marty showed Mr. Flagg how to brush Merlin and allowed him to assist. Mr. Flagg was a natural. He got to ride around the arena many times and gave commands to Merlin. Merlin proved to be a great listener. 
 
“At the end, I asked Mr. Flagg what motivated him to do this. He said: `I raised five children on my own and didn’t have the time to experience things like this.’ He said he loves to watch Westerns and has always wanted to ride a horse. 
 
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“I’m so excited we were able to make this happen for him! ”Julie added. “We were finally able to make his dream come true.”
 

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More than 1,000 Hospice of the Western Reserve employees and 3,000 volunteers live and work side-by-side in the same neighborhoods with our patients and families. We are privileged to have cared for more than 100,000 Northern Ohioans since our inception.