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‘Touched my heart’
Hospital nurses give widow a special gift
Nurses Decorate Xmas 5 es
A photo of the Moores at their home at Christmas 2008. - photo by Emily Saunders
Many say the true spirit of Christmas is reaching out to others in need.

Wilma Moore has experienced that generosity firsthand.

Moore’s husband of 41 years, Michael, came home from the hospital Dec. 8, just in time to see the Christmas tree, garland and other decorations his nurses had put up at their house off Tribble Gap Road.

He died the next day of stomach and esophageal cancer.

“He was home less than 24 hours before he passed, but I’m so glad we got him home,” Moore said.

The nurses — Amber Buchanan, Jana Jape and Chastity Herring — took care of Michael Moore while he was being treated at Northside Hospital-Forsyth.

Buchanan said decorating the house was “just something we wanted to do.”

“Sometimes you just meet people and you feel at home with them,” she said. “I think that’s how all of us felt.”

She said she came up with the idea after coming home from work one weekend to find that her own husband had decorated her house.

“We just all talked about it and decided we wanted to do it for them,” Buchanan said.

Wilma Moore broke down in tears when the nurses pulled her aside at the hospital and told her of their plan.

“It just touched my heart beyond belief that anybody would want to do that for us,” she said, adding that she wouldn’t have been able to decorate the house on her own.

Moore said her husband fell ill the first weekend in June and was diagnosed soon after with cancer.

In August, doctors operated on his stomach and esophagus. They found cancer in his lymph nodes and planned to treat him with chemotherapy once he recovered from the surgery.

Instead, Moore said, her husband’s condition worsened.

She said he was hospitalized four times for a total of 49 days. Three of those stays were at Northside-Forsyth.

“He was always in the same room and had the same nurses,” Moore said. “We got to know all of the nurses on all the shifts.”

Bedside prayers were a common occurrence in his hospital room. Moore noted that one of the nurses, Jessica Brock, returned one night about 15 minutes after her shift ended and said God wouldn’t let her leave.

“That nurse stood by his bedside and prayed,” Moore said. “She also prayed the day we came home ... we all held hands in a circle and she prayed.”

Moore’s husband asked Brock to pray for his wife.

“I said pray for a miracle,” she said.

Moore said her husband worked for Cotton States for more than 40 years. He was also a member and deacon of Beaver Ruin Baptist Church. They never had any children, she said, but always had dogs.

Moore shares her home with their Irish setter, Molly, and cocker spaniels, Torey and Gator. There’s also a cat named Slime.

The couple grew up in Floyd County, where they met in the fifth grade.

“He was a wonderful, wonderful husband,” she said. “He was an honest man. He loved God and he was a wonderful provider.”

She said they also enjoyed traveling. The couple took their first major trip together in 1978 to Athens, Greece. They made another trip to the Mediterranean country in 2008.

“We traveled many, many times in between, but that was our first and last place to visit,” she said.

Though this Christmas will be different, Moore said she’ll be spending the holiday with extended family.

She said Buchanan, Jape and Herring have become lifelong friends.

After Christmas, the nurses plan to return to take down the decorations and take Moore to lunch.

“There are wonderful, kind people in this world that are ready to help in a time of need,” Moore said.