March 13, 2011 By Anne Pryor

Two weeks ago I was called to UT for a family emergency.  My dear Aunt Carol, more a sister, mother and best friend to me, had a blood clot that traveled to her heart.  She just had hernia surgery and it was supposed to be an outpatient surgery – no complications, but, there were.

My aunt died on 2/28/11.  She was only 67 and she had retired on January 6, 2011.  She didn’t even get to collect her first 401K distribution. Carol was an amazing woman and I knew it.  She started the first cancer wellness house, cancer preventative treatments, cancer support groups, innovative palliative care, end of life and ethics programs in UT.  Her programs were models for the nation.

Carol was a pioneer and her colleagues, professional associates at  St. Mark’s Hospital, where she served as a Clinical Nurse Specialist, held two touching memorial services for her.  Hundreds of doctors, nurses and staff came to share their stories, cry buckets of tears and talk about how they would never manage without her.  Carol asked the hard questions.  She moved human beings from this life to the next and helped families left behind understand the whys.

I loved my dear aunt and my life is changed because of her.  It’s time for all of us to live while we’re living.  Carol used her best dishes every day and she shared them with others.  She left a legacy of care and compassion like no other.  She made meaningful connections that bridge this lifetime.

In her memory, I’d like to invite you to think about your legacy. I’ve attached a document titled What My Family Should Know.

Make sure that your memory and how you want your passing and things cared for is documented.  This document will ensure that your survivors can easily and effortlessly carry out your wishes.


Be well, my friends,

Anne Pryor