Few losses can be as heart-rending as losing your spouse or loved one to a terminal illness. Watching as the disease takes over, and then trying to keep up with the care your loved one needs can be overwhelming.
Luckily there is help. For David Groth, he found a place for the love of his life to spend her final days and receive the care she needed at the Sentara Hospice House. David and Ann Groth, both natives of Virginia Beach, met while attending the University of Virginia. After getting married in 1975, they opened David’s Beach Shop on Atlantic Avenue in Virginia Beach. David and Ann spent March until October running the shop and spend their off months traveling and enjoying time together.
In 2009, the Groth’s were in Key West when Ann first began to notice something was wrong. An avid runner, Ann noticed she was short of breath while out for a run on the island. When they came home and visited the doctor, the news was shocking. It was lung cancer, and it was stage 4. “My first reaction was stage 4 out of what?” said David. “The doctors told me stage 4 was as bad as it could get. Ann was never a smoker and was healthy, how did this happen to her?”
Ann never gave up. She fought through four years of multiple chemotherapy and radiation treatments. She continued enjoying her life, spending time gardening and with friends and family including her faithful companion Hannah, their Labrador Retriever that brought Ann so much comfort during her illness. Ann’s cancer eventually spread to her brain and could no longer be treated. When discussing their options for Ann’s final days, a nurse told David about the Sentara Hospice House in Virginia Beach.
“As soon as I walked up to the front door and saw the beautiful garden I knew this was the right place for Ann. The home is so warm and comforting, exactly what we both needed. For me, being able to walk out into the garden or into the spacious family room and take some time to breathe was a huge comfort.” Ann Dowding Groth passed away on April 27, 2013. David and Ann would have been married 38 years in May.
Your continued support creates a warm, welcoming and comforting place for families, like the Groths, to say goodbye. Please join us as we enrich final days with hope, strength and joy at our the Sentara Hospice House.
“It was indescribably hard to watch the love of my life die without being able to save her. I don’t know what I would have done without the Hospice House and the staff. Words cannot express how grateful I am for the care Ann received allowing her to finally pass in peace.”