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An autographed Liberty Dream for Joan Schmidt

"These are happy tears. He’s so darn cute, you’re cute too!" Resident Joan Schmidt beamed as she hugged LPN Tim Deery while clutching her new, autographed picture of Phil Mickelson.

Tim Deery, Admissions Coordinator of Waverly Gardens has the privilege of serving Joan on a regular basis. He noticed her particular affection for professional golfer, Phil Mickelson. Tim saw an opportunity to make Joan feel special through a PHS program known as Liberty Dreams. He wrote a letter to Phil and his wife Amy of the Phil and Amy Foundation to share Joan’s story.

Tim wrote:

I have known Joan since 2009 when she became a resident here at Waverly Gardens. Joan has the most beautiful smile and laugh. She is an icon in our care center; everyone knows Joan. She is always happy, smiling, and makes everyone feel special around her. She’s just one of those people you see and talk to who makes you forget how busy you are and allows you to relax and have a good laugh or two. She has battled breast cancer throughout her life and has been such a fighter. She just recently had a decline and now has entered to the "hospice" phase.

In Joan’s suite there is a wall she calls her "Wall of Men." Over the years, the pictures of men’s faces on the wall have changed. There is one face that has been there through and through and that is you—Phil! She has said to me in the past that the men on the wall "help me make it through the day!" Joan is my biggest hero for the way she has battled with cancer. She will never admit how uncomfortable she is at times. She will smile and say "I’m OK, don’t worry". She is one of the strongest people I’ve ever met.

Thank you for your kindness!

Tim Deery


Phil sent a response to Tim’s thoughtful letter, complete with an autographed picture that read, "Joan, you are my hero!" Joan framed this treasured keepsake and now has it prominently displayed on her "Wall of Men." Through the simple act of writing a thoughtful letter, Tim put the pieces in place to make Joan’s "Liberty Dream" come true and brought joy to her and her family during a difficult time.Autographed photo of golfer, Phil Mickelson

Liberty Dreams can come true for residents each day in big and small ways when PHS employees, like Tim, form meaningful relationships with the people they serve. Thank you, Tim for your attentive and compassionate heart.

Liberty Dreams is a popular facet of Liberty Personally Designed Living™, the PHS resident-centered model of care that recognizes and values independent choice, and creates opportunities for each person to determine how they wish to live within the community setting. Liberty encourages staff to form meaningful relationships with the people they serve and set their priorities and work routines to support resident preferences. As staff spends time with residents, learning about the life stories, family, passions of each resident, they often discover what a resident’s Liberty Dream might be and how to make it come true.

Learn more about Liberty Personally Designed Living.

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