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UnityPoint Hospice Patient Realizes Dream to Attend NFL Football Game


In 1999, Bobby Armstrong suffered a major heart attack. He was rushed to the hospital, where his heart stopped before he was resuscitated. He then had quadruple bypass surgery. Since that time, Bobby has had more than 20 stents placed in his arteries.

“I’m down to one artery,” says Bobby, who is now in hospice care with UnityPoint Hospice. “I’m not complaining about it. I see other people who are worse off than me.”

Two things that Bobby is still able to enjoy are his grandchildren and professional football, especially the Houston Texans.

“The kids are what matter to me,” says Bobby. “I love kids. I see our grandkids come over, and I’ll get down on the floor and play with them as long as I can.”

As for the reason he roots for the Texans, Bobby says, “I lived in Houston more than 40 years. But, I’ve never been to a pro football game. I always watched it on TV.”

Bobby also feels strongly about the care he is receiving from Emily Kraus, his hospice social worker, and the rest of the team at UnityPoint Hospice.

“My whole hospice team is just awesome,” he says. “Emily goes out of her way to help us in all different ways. I can talk to her and explain if I have a problem, and she gets right on it and gets it taken care of.”

While caring for Bobby, Emily noticed Bobby’s passion for football early on.
“The times he seems the happiest and the most normal is when he talks about football,” she says.

This lead Emily to look into, apply for, and ultimately, secure a grant from the Dream Foundation for Bobby and his wife, Teann, to travel from their home in Muscatine, Iowa to Houston for a Texans game.

On January 3, Bobby realized his dream. He and his wife, Teann, saw the Texans beat the Jacksonville Jaguars at NRG Stadium in Houston. At the time, the Texans were in the midst of a heated battle for a playoff spot, and the victory was key to helping them achieve that goal.

Emily shared in the joy of being able to help Bobby go to the game.

“Amazing,” she says. “There’s just nothing else you can really say about giving someone else a gift like that at the end of life – knowing how important the Texans and Texas are to Bobby.”

Bobby is treasuring memories from the experience and is grateful for his care and the assistance with the grant.

“I really want to say thank you,” he says. “I’m living again. You all helped me out a whole lot and I want to thank you for that.”

Bobby's Dream - UnityPoint Hospice from UnityPoint Health on Vimeo.