Trish Hoyt –
The inspiration behind Trish’s Angels...
Imagine the happiest, most loving person you’ve ever met. Now multiply that by ten and you can sort of get an idea of the radiant personality that was Trish Hoyt. Born in Leicester, England, Trish was the type of person who never met a stranger, and was seldom forgotten, thanks to her trademark hairdo and adorable British accent. Throughout her many travels, which eventually brought her to the United States where she and her husband raised their children, Trish devoted herself to making others happier. She accomplished this through her work as a registered nurse, taking care of her children and through volunteer work. Following her ALS diagnosis in early 2011, Trish appreciated, but refused to accept sympathy from family or friends. Instead, she resolved to continue living her life to the best of her ability with her unshakeable positive attitude, walking miles each day and participating in ALS research fundraising events. In essence, she had the attitude most of us can only dream about in such a situation. She was also fortunate to have an incredible support system, made up of family and friends.
Trish’s symptoms accelerated following her diagnosis, with an almost immediate loss of ability to use her hands and arms. She continued to exercise by walking miles every day to stay in the best possible health. Over the next couple of months, she began to require regular help with basic tasks. After several emergency room visits caused by an inability to properly swallow saliva, she underwent procedures to have a feeding tube and ventilator placed, which allowed her to breathe and receive nourishment, but left her unable to talk. Although Trish and her family were hopeful that she would be able to go on and off of the ventilator and switch to oxygen support, it became apparent quickly that her condition would not allow it, leaving her confined to bed and largely unable to communicate. Despite these challenges, Trish refused to give up her fight against ALS, as she had the impending wedding of her daughter and birth of her third grandson to anticipate.
Trish was fortunate to be surrounded by caregivers who provided a positive, safe environment. She required 24/7 care, regular visits from nurses and physical/respiratory therapists. The cost of these necessary services, plus hospice care, medical supplies and prescription drugs were immense.
Trish is survived by Harry, her husband of 41 years, as well as her son, daughter, their spouses, three grandsons, two sisters and many nieces and nephews. Since her passing, Harry has devoted himself to furthering the cause of Trish’s Angels so that other ALS patients might be able to avoid some of the financial burden that often accompanies the disease. Trish, a caregiver by nature, wanted to help others battling this devastating disease. Her grace and refusal to give up will always be an inspiration to patients and family members affected by ALS, and her namesake organization will continue her legacy of helping others in need.