Care Through My Eyes- Paul Robinson
As a nonprofit hospice care provider supported by the Foundation, Four Seasons has the opportunity to provide unique and exceptional patient-centric care. Patients who cannot afford the cost of the care they need and have no other pay sources available may receive care funding through the Foundation’s Angel Fund, which is solely supported by the community. Four Seasons is honored to have provided care funds in this way to Paul Robinson, who was eager to share his story of receiving care from Four Seasons while he was living in his car.
We sat down with Paul in October 2022, after he expressed a desire to tell his story. Paul was on oxygen, under the care of our Hospice Team in his home, and was adamant about sharing his story so that he might help others.
Paul’s early life was spent in Los Angeles, CA until the age of 8 when Paul’s parents moved their family to Haywood County. As he grew up, Paul became interested in golf course construction work and even helped build two golf courses at Walt Disney World.
Beginning in 1993, Paul served time in prison for just over 12 years. Throughout his time, he worked hard to improve himself so he could contribute his talents to the world upon release. When he was released, he began working at a plating company, which is when he first noticed signs of a serious illness.
“I was in and out of the hospital and eventually diagnosed with COPD,” said Paul. “I could hardly go to work, and I ended up losing my job which meant I could not pay my bills. That is when I had to start sleeping in my car. I learned about Four Seasons Palliative Care during one of my hospital stays.”
At one of the hospital stays, Paul connected with a Four Seasons social worker. She approached Paul and his situation with compassion, love, and respect. She connected Paul with the Asheville-Buncombe Community Christian Ministry which helps provide clothing and food. She also connected him with resources to help him get the inhalers he desperately needed, a phone, and social security benefits.
The social worker’s true demonstration of patient-centric care in a nonprofit care setting came when Paul enrolled in Four Seasons Palliative Care. As someone experiencing homelessness, it was impossible for the social worker to know where Paul would be located at any given time, and difficult for him to contact her to stay in touch. Despite these communication challenges, she didn’t give up on her patient. When she hadn’t heard from Paul, she would take the time to drive around town to find him, sometimes for hours. She provided comfort and care, reminding Paul of the importance of taking care of himself. Our Palliative Care team served Paul in his car while his social worker helped him find a more permanent place.
Eventually, the social worker was able to connect Paul with Haywood Street Respite which arranged for Paul to live safely and comfortably in a hotel for 9 months. Then Paul was provided a place of permanent residence and was able to receive Hospice Care in the comfort of his own home, after 4 years of living in his car.
Karen Miller, Four Seasons RN who was part of Paul’s care team later recalled “Paul clearly treasured his apartment. I had the honor of visiting him there several times. What a pleasure it was for us both to have a visit in a home he could call his own.”
After 2 years of service from Four Seasons, Paul passed with dignity and grace in December 2022 in his own bed.
Before he passed, Paul expressed “Four Seasons is life-changing. I would not be sitting here today if it were not for the team Four Seasons put together for me. What you all do is unreal.”
Four Seasons Chaplain Colby Truesdell reflects that “Paul’s story is inspirational. It highlights human resilience and loving kindness in extraordinary ways.”
At Four Seasons, we care about each person who needs our services. Our patients, their families, and the care they receive are our
top priority. No matter your circumstances, Four Seasons is here for you.
“We are grateful that as a nonprofit organization, we have the flexibility to go above and beyond to serve our patients,” said Sybil Arnold, Director of Patient and Family Services.
May 1958 – September 2022
When you support the Foundation, you ensure Four Seasons can continue to provide trusted care and comfort to members of our community, who would otherwise, not be able to experience this level of care. Support patient care at Four Seasons today with a gift to the Foundation.