Vail Daily column: Thanks to caregivers |

Vail Daily column: Thanks to caregivers

Our beloved wife and mother, Natalia Hanks, passed away just over three weeks ago after a three-year battle with ALS. Her difficult journey was prolonged and made more endurable in large measure because of the wonderful care she received from many fabulous caregivers here in the Vail Valley.

We would especially like to recognize her primary care physician, Dr. Diane Voytko of Colorado Mountain Medical, as well as Drs. Phil Freedman and Steve Yarberry from the same organization. On a day-to-day basis, Natalia’s life was greatly enriched by the loving care of nursing aides Debbie Harris and Nikki Ruoff and by nurse Lindsey Thompson, all from Homecare and Hospice of the Valley.

Many other healthcare professionals at these organizations as well as the nurses and doctors at Vail Valley Medical Center contributed their expertise to Natalia’s care over many months.We remain awed by the way they all connected with Natalia on a personal level and then used their skills to help her in every way they could.

We should all be grateful that these fabulous caregivers choose to live here in the Vail Valley with us and use their extensive skills to make our lives healthier and happier. Our deepest thanks and gratitude to all of them.

Reminder: There will be a celebration of Natalia’s life at the Beaver Creek Chapel at 4 p.m. Thursday, followed by a reception at the Walking Mountains Science Center at 6 p.m. All are welcome.

The Hanks Family

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