Elderly woman receives surprise at nursing home - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Elderly woman receives surprise at nursing home

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LEITCHFIELD, Ky. (WDRB) -- An elderly woman's wish has been granted, and WDRB's Rachel Collier was there as she was surprised with a gift that will change how she lives.

Accepting that it is time to head to a nursing home is not easy.

"I was very upset when it happened, (but) it's home, it's family. And they're good to me," said Alleane Tarrence.

Alleane stays in her room at Grayson Manor in Leitchfield, Kentucky most days -- but not by choice.

"I have Parkinson's, MS, tremors," she explained. "I have congestive heart failure, COPD, shrinking brain."

It is not her many ailments that keep her in confined to her room. Normally, she loves to go out and play bingo, but her electric wheelchair has been broken for two years.

"That thing there is just tore up," Alleane said. "Sometimes I get down the hall, it just stops on me. Sometimes it runs into the wall, it has a mind of its own."

The wheelchair no longer functions in reverse. Many times, she relies on an aide to push her in it.

"She seems sadder," said her daughter, Jayleane Santos. "It's like being stuck in a room and all you got to look at is flowers and a brick wall."

Alleane makes the most of her life. "When I go down the hall, my horn won't work on that and I go beep! beep! beep! beep!" she laughed.

But with the unreliable wheelchair, she gets people to come to her. She has quite the collection of CDs. "June Carter, I got Tommy Cash -- Johnny Cash," she named as she went through them.

"And I turn it up loud enough the aides will come back here and tell me they like my music. It makes me feel good," said Alleane.

While we were with her, Alleane ventured down the hallway to the lobby where a surprise was in store. Luckily, her wheelchair cooperated one last time. As she approached the lobby, she could hear music from a brand new juke box that was just donated -- but that wasn't all.

Opal's Dream Foundation grants dreams to seniors -- and Alleane was granted a wish she didn't even make. She received a brand new electric wheelchair.

"We have brought you a new electric wheelchair," said Jerry Stith with Opal's Dream Foundation.

Alleane got settled into her chair and was overcome with emotion as it sunk in.

"I didn't know places existed like this," Alleane said tearfully.

"With limited funds, you can't really do everything we should be able to do for her," said Santos.

Opal's Dream Foundation made it happen after Alleane's social worker, Alexis Chitwood, made the request on a whim. "(It was a) long shot, yeah, I had never, unless somebody donates something randomly, there's no place out there that donates things like that, that I know of," said Chitwood.

There are places, and people in this world, who care, and give your heart a wonderful feeling.

The kind of feeling Alleane got when she was presented with the chair.
Alleane says she felt "joy and thankfulness -- I just want to hug whoever gave it to me. I didn't know places existed like this."

While residents at Grayson manor are rockin' and stompin' to some grooves on the new jukebox, Alleane will be rolling to the lobby in her new wheelchair to listen to her favorite tunes.

"Just don't run over anybody as you're going up and down the hall," Stith laughed.

"I don't have to go beep! beep! anymore!" said Alleane, making everyone laugh.

An electronic wheelchair like the one Alleane received can cost several thousand dollars.

If you have a wish, or want to get involved with Opal's Dream Foundation, click here.

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