Vet's dying wish is to come home

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Queenie Jones still remembers what Willie looked like the day she met him.

"He had the prettiest smile you ever could see," she said.

Queenie and Willie married in 1964.

"The ring cracked, but we're still together," she said.

But now, they live apart. Willie is sick with dementia. Since December, he's been in hospice at the VA Medical Center in West Palm Beach.

"I don't know if he's going to last long. I looked at him today, and he did not look good at all," said Queenie Jones.

His dying wish: to come home, to their home, near Blue Heron Blvd.

"I gotta get him home. I promised him. That was the last thing he asked me to do," said Jones.

For now, that's just not possible. The roof leaks. There's mold, even near Queenie's breathing machine. Both have been sick for years.

Queenie says they were unable to do even basic maintenance, and now the home is in shambles.

"There's holes in the windows. She believes animals have been coming in through here," said Pastor Ronnie Felder of JAY Ministries in Riviera Beach.

Queenie's grandchildren reached out to Felder for help. They didn't think it was a good idea for Willie to come home to these conditions, not until the home can be cleaned and fixed.

Felder promises to supply a contractor. But he says more help is needed if this home can ever be fit for a couple who want to live  there together one last time.

"When you see somebody living in these conditions, our heart just went out to her. We just want to put all our efforts here," said Felder.

If there's hope to be had that Willie will come one day, Queenie has it.

"I just want my husband home. You should see him. All he does is talk about it, talk about coming home," said Jones.

JAY Ministries can be reached at 561-842-4276.

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