"Karen was nice enough to put my makeup on me and do my hair," Brown said, referring to Karen Tate, director of activities at Cartersville Heights. "Then at the last minute I put my dress on. [I went to] LongHorn Steakhouse [with my son]. His wife came too [and] my brother and nephew were there too. It meant a lot to me. The food [also] was great. I had a New York strip steak and a shrimp [appetizer]."
After suffering a stroke at 35, when her son was 17, Brown came to the Cartersville facility for assistance. With her legs and left arm being paralyzed, she relies on a wheelchair for transport. To help Brown, 47, receive her wish, Mary Jaramillo -- education and training coordinator for SunBridge Healthcare -- covered the cost of her meal.
"As a mother of a teenage son myself, I felt that to bring them together was the right thing to do," said Jaramillo in a news release.
For Tate, assisting in Brown's evening out was a joyous occasion on Sunday.
"Her son stated that this was the best thing that has happened to Joan since she's been here in 12 years," Tate said, adding LongHorn also contributed to the special outing by setting the table with linens and a floral centerpiece. "So that made me feel really good. This is my dream job. We have fun. There is a lot of paperwork but to see their faces, see their spirits uplifted, you can't explain [what it means]. ... I've only been here since October of 2010.
"So this is all kind of new for me but I love this program and I am so thankful for my job and working with our residents. It's something different every day. You don't know what's going to happen. It's an adventure."
To learn more about the Twilight Wish program, visit www.sunbridgehealthcare.com/About_Us/Twilight_Wishes.aspx.