National Speaker to Share Personal Caregiving Journey in Fargo

National speaker, author and customer-care expert Larry Johnson, accompanied by his wife CJ, will present “There Is No ‘They’: Delivering Care from the Customer’s Perspective.” They will share their firsthand experience as health care customers on Thursday, November 15 at 7 p.m. at the Holiday Inn, 3803 13th Ave. S., Fargo.

Hospice of the Red River Valley is sponsoring this free, public presentation as a way to provide caregiver education to the community.

While on a bicycling vacation in 2003, CJ was involved in an accident that changed their world. Despite wearing a helmet, she sustained a closed-head injury that put her in a coma for eight weeks, and then into a persistent vegetative state, from which she emerged seven months later. CJ went from intensive care to skilled nursing care to home health care. Larry and CJ will share what they learned along the way.

According to Larry, “The title of the presentation, There is No ‘They,’ came from people asking about CJ’s status—wanting to know what ‘they’ said were her chances of waking up from the coma, or when ‘they’ thought she could have her stomach tube removed, or if ‘they’ thought she would ever talk or walk again. It was as if everyone interested thought there was some ‘they’ out there who was monitoring our experience to make sure everything was handled just right—and so did we. Unfortunately, we discovered that there simply was no ‘they.’ There was just us, and we had to find or own way. This was daunting because even at its best, health care is often disjointed and misdirected.”

This community event is free and open to the public.