Too Little, Too Late For Many New Yorkers Seeking Hospice

Sandra Lopez (left) and her dog Coco greeting hospice nurse Heather Meyerend last fall. In the weeks before Lopez died, Meyerend stopped by weekly to check her physical health, pain levels and medications.i
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Sandra Lopez (left) and her dog Coco greeting hospice nurse Heather Meyerend last fall. In the weeks before Lopez died, Meyerend stopped by weekly to check her physical health, pain levels and medications.

Sandra Lopez (left) and her dog Coco greeting hospice nurse Heather Meyerend last fall. In the weeks before Lopez died, Meyerend stopped by weekly to check her physical health, pain levels and medications.



Amy Pearl/WNYC

Sandra Lopez and her Chihuahua, Coco, were inseparable. He followed her everywhere, and kept Lopez’s mood up when she was in pain – which was often.

On Oct. 15, 2014, Lopez died at age 49 of melanoma that had slowly spread throughout her body over the course of two years. Thanks to hospice care, she died where she wanted to be — at home, with her pain under control.

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