VA’s home health program helps Leavenworth family say goodbye to father

Health Check

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The family of David Hornback is forever grateful to the VA Eastern Kansas Health Care System after its staff helped them spend their final moments with him at their home.

Hornback’s life revolved around the military, joining the Marine Corps at the young age of 17. After five years, he made the decision to switch to the Army, where he served multiple roles for 20 years.

“He was an amazing man, he just was. He never stopped. When he says, ‘Once a Marine, always a Marine,’ that’s true. He kept that in his heart,” said Joy Meyer, Hornback’s daughter.

The Leavenworth man was a jokester with a bright personality, always playing pranks and making everyone around him laugh. However, his deepest trait was his love for his wife and six daughters.

When the time came that Hornback knew he could no longer take care of himself, his family turned to the Home Based Primary Care program through the VA so that he could continue to be with his family.

The program is completely free for eligible, enrolled veterans with service connected disabilities, according to the VA.

Providers were at Hornback’s home weekly to help with physical therapy, medicine and even paperwork, as well as on call 24/7 for whatever was needed.

“Our first goal was to walk two or three laps around the neighborhood. We were not in an end-stage of life situation at all when we started with him, and we were with him for… five or six years,” said Kimberly Harrison, Hornback’s physical therapist.

The staff was there for Hornback during his best times.

“Every time he knew these girls were coming, and gentlemen, they look forward to that,” Meyer said with tears in her eyes.

To his worst.

“Dad’s eyes rolled back to his head, and it’s like ‘What do I do?'” Meyer said. “They didn’t hesitate, didn’t hesitate at all to either come over or answer our questions.”

The Hornback family is grateful to the staff for everything that they did, and the feeling is mutual from the staff.

The family wrote a letter of thanks to the hospital, and the staff even attended Hornback’s funeral.

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