"Christmas In July"

By: Lindsey Yates Email
By: Lindsey Yates Email

Before his annual December trek around the world Santa made a special mid-year stop to a family in Bowling Green today.

"I mean I can't put it in words. At first it was just going to be a dinner with my family. I had no idea it was going into a production," says Jo Dalton, a patient with Hospice of Southern Kentucky.

Jo Dalton, or as her family calls her Mama Jo, was all smiles and a few tears of joy as it was beginning to look a lot like Christmas at her house today.

She is currently battling terminal colon cancer and it was her last wish to spend her favorite holiday surrounded by her children, nine grandchildren, and her three great grandchildren.

"It's a time that brings all the family together and laugh and talk, and reminisce about old times. It's just a close time for us it's our favorite holiday," says Kay Anderson, daughter of Jo Dalton.

"It's good to have the opportunity to tell them one last time that you love them," says Dalton.

The party planned by her loved ones and Hospice of Southern Kentucky included surprise, after surprise.

In true Christmas fashion carolers sang traditional Christmas carols, and Mr. and Mrs. Clause even made an appearance.

"With our patients quality of however many days we have is what we want and with her expressing her wished for Christmas in July we wanted to make it the best Christmas ever," says Janice Hall, Dalton's Nurse with Hospice of Southern Kentucky.

Decorations were hung and songs were sung and Jo has even received more than 300 Christmas cards that she admires from her bedside.

"I hope they remember how much I love them as much as they love me and they've proved it today," Jo says when asked how much this day means to her.

As they gather around Mr. and Mrs. Clause to snap one last family photo Mama Jo hopes it will be a memory her family will cherish forever.

"Family means a lot. Every time you have the chance to get together with your family take it. Be with them as much as you can and enjoy them while you can."

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