Haven Hospice assisted Haven RN Liaison Jacqueline Thompson in getting a travel visa so that she could accompany her stepfather to his hometown in Cuba. This was the first trip for Jacqueline to meet her relatives there and possibly the last trip for her father.

“I especially wanted to go to Cuba before my dad declines and may not be able to handle traveling," said Thompson. Roberto, aged 88, emigrated from Holguin, Cuba to the United States in the 1960s. “He has been going back ever since they opened up travel, but I wanted to go and finally meet my step sisters and brothers and all of their children,” said Jacqueline “I heard I could go back as a family member so that is why I contacted Haven Vice President of Governmental Affairs and Community Relations Jim Poole.”

“We knew how important this trip was for Jacqueline and with my experience in governmental relations, I was familiar with the process, so I contacted Senator Marco Rubio’s office and assisted Jacqueline in getting the paperwork started,” said Poole. “At Haven, we not only want to help our patients and families at that crucial time but also our employees and their families as well.”

Jacqueline, Roberto, her son Ross and niece Tyasia spent their time traveling to the homes of friends and relatives in Holguin unannounced because there was no phone service, but they were always welcome. “I was a little fearful of going because I don’t speak Spanish but my Dad does,” said Jacqueline. “The people there were so loving and open, so it was a wonderful and refreshing experience.”