Though it broke his heart to witness the deteriorating mental state of his wife of over three decades, the loving husband knew that Phyllis needed him now more than ever.
Having a partner who can stand by and lead you no matter what is a great blessing. But despite the fact that we hope for the best when we say "I do," not everyone is as lucky to experience that kind of unbridled emotional support from a partner. Phyllis Feener, however, was one of the lucky few. Watching the mental state of someone
Phyllis and Stan were married for over three decades and had built a life together, raised a family together. Watching your partner's mental state deteriorating with time can be extremely painful and emotionally challenging. When the family was told that 52-year-old Phyllis suffered from an early onset of dementia, it did not stop Stan from being there for his wife in whatever way she needed.
Their daughter, Kelli Taylor captured the love of her parents and posted a picture on Twitter. The picture showed Phyllis sleeping in the arms of her husband. Kelli wrote," My parents have been married for 34 years. My mom is in the final stages of young-onset dementia. My dad cares for her full-time. She doesn’t always remember his name but she knows she is safe with him. If that’s not true love, I don’t know what is."
My parents have been married for 34 years. My mom is in the final stages of young onset dementia (diagnosed 5 years ago at 53). My dad cares for her full-time. She doesn’t always remember his name but she knows she is safe with him. If that’s not true love, I don’t know what is. pic.twitter.com/8oW2n4mGza— Kelli Taylor (@keenertaylor) April 26, 2018
The image touched the hearts of several people and was shared all over the world. However, Stan was not thrilled by the number of times people viewed the tweet or shared it. All he had to say was about the love he had for his wife. "I don't know anything about Twitter. I just love my wife," said Stan to Tennessean.
According to news.com.au, Phyllis and Stan tied the knot 34 years ago. The couple had a blissful marriage despite the ups and downs and everything was going well until she began facing trouble remembering things in 2012.
Her family thought she was just going through a normal memory loss and associated it with menopause. However, a medical diagnosis in 2013 revealed that Phyllis was, in fact, suffering from an early onset of dementia.
The news was quite unexpected, given that Phyllis was only 52 at the time, but it nonetheless made their hearts heavy. This is where Stan stepped in and dedicated his entire time to caring for Phyllis. Though it broke his heart to witness the deteriorating mental state of his wife of over three decades, the loving husband knew that Phyllis needed him now more than ever.
Their daughter told the news outlet that her mother's illness has left her wanting more affection. “I wanted to let my followers and friends know what was going on. I didn’t expect this. They’ve always been close and affectionate. Now she's wanting that more.”
Meanwhile, the family started a GoFund Me page for Phyllis's full-time treatment. The family informed the public that Phyllis's condition had progressed. “She is unable to perform simple tasks like pouring a bowl of cereal or dressing, has trouble communicating her thoughts and needs and has forgotten names of family members.
They also said that she could not be left alone and needed someone with her at all times. "Thankfully ... Stan with a job that permits him to work from home and care for Phyllis with help from friends and family. However, we are quickly moving to a place where more help is needed. This is the reason for our ‘Phyllis Fund’," said the family on GoFund Me.
The family also detailed where the money would be utilized. “In-home care costs about $20/hour, for a minimum of 12 hours per week. We are also looking into adult daycare programs, which cost about $50-$75 a day, but we’re not sure how Phyllis would do in such a new, stimulating environment. We would like to avoid an assisted living situation for as long as possible, but the uncertain nature of this disease makes planning for the future difficult.”
Eventually, Stan also quit his job and took to completely caring for his wife. However, after five years of battling the harsh mental illness, Phyllis tragically passed away in 2018.