Indiana, PA - Indiana County

Stylists volunteer to beautify VNA patients

by on April 13, 2014 1:55 AM

Stylist Freddy Viggo compares his service with hospice patients to the feeling of taking a shower when you’re sick.

“You look good, you feel better,” Viggo said. “Even if it’s only for an hour, that’s pretty cool.”

Viggo and Sarah Heck, stylists at the Hair Hub on the Indiana University of Pennsylvania campus, have been volunteering their time and stylist services to hospice patients for about two years through the Visiting Nurse Association of Indiana County.

They travel to patients’ homes all over Indiana County and even into Punxsutawney to cut and style their hair.

“It’s amazing to me, the generosity,” hospice volunteer coordinator Mary Cicola said. “When you consider what they would be able to charge, it’s just amazing.”

Viggo and Heck got started a few years ago when a VNA medical social worker approached them with the opportunity. Now they help as many as four to six patients a month look and feel their best.

“A lot of the ladies just love it,” Cicola said. “They just feel so good, and we’re just thrilled they’re willing to do this. The patients know they’re going to get all our other services — this is just icing on the cake for them.”

One patient, Carolyn Sherrill, of Blairsville, has had several sessions with them. She was even able to get a perm at the Hair Hub with a little planning on Viggo’s part.

“He said if I could come to his shop, he could give me a perm, but he couldn’t do it in my home,” Sherrill said. “I’m on 10 milliliters of oxygen and, sure enough, he had the oxygen there. I got my perm, and it was very nice.”

Sherrill has been in hospice care since September. When one of her nurses told her there was someone who could come and cut her hair, she set up the appointment.

“It really made a difference in my appearance,” she said. “They did a really good job.”

She’s looking forward to having Viggo and Heck cut her hair every few months.

Heck said her service helps the patients and their families feel better.

“It’s for the families, too, so their loved ones look the way they like, the way they’re used to,” she said. “You really get an insight into their family dynamic.”



Emily Weber has been a staff writer at The Indiana Gazette since February 2013. She graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2014 with a degree in journalism and English writing studies. Emily can be reached at eweber@indianagazette.net.
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