On January 27, 2021 our lives changed dramatically. Our beloved mother, DeLisa Swagerty, was admitted to Holston Valley Hospital and tested positive for COVID-19. Less than 48 hours, after of our mother being admitted into the hospital, our worst nightmare would come true. Our dear mother was placed on a ventilator. Her blood oxygen level had drastically dropped, and she was having trouble breathing on her own due to pneumonia and having COVID related lungs.
DeLisa Swagerty was born on August 15, 1956 and lived in Kingsport, Tennessee. She was a single mother to two sons: Judah and DiMin’go. She loved being a mother and loved raising her two boys. She would teach them how to value life by honoring the lives of other people.
She was an entrepreneur by heart. During this time, she started selling t-shirts and other apparel items in flea markets, on street corners, and from the trunk of her car. She would soon partner with her mother, the late Pastor Geraldine Swagerty, and they would both open their first store front selling apparel, gift novelty items, and decorative flower arrangements in downtown Kingsport, Tennessee.
Through her dedication and ambition, DeLisa would go on to help her mother, Pastor Geraldine Swagerty, create and establish the Kitchen of Hope in 1996. She would play a major role in successfully helping to start this iconic movement for feeding the people of Kingsport. Although the vision for the kitchen was first set by Pastor Geraldine Swagerty, it was through the determination of DeLisa that the Kitchen of Hope came to fruition. DeLisa would handle most of the kitchen’s operations and logistics in the first few years of opening. To date, the Kitchen of Hope averages about 155 daily attendees, with approximately 120 volunteers and serving 3,700 hot meals to those in need.
She was devoted to serving her community and was a member of Full Gospel Mission Church, the same church her mother founded in Kingsport, Tennessee. She was also a member of CORA, a local member association to help promote social justice in the local region. She opened her home to countless of people who needed shelter, from family and friends to the homeless on the street. She was a great mentor and loved being of service to others.
Back to The Present:
At approximately 7:05am on Tuesday February 16, 2021, we received a call from the pulmonologist at Holston Valley Hospital that mom was not doing well. It was further explained that mom’s lungs were collapsing. The doctor stated that the family should come to the hospital to discuss “comfort measure” procedures for mom. We then went to the hospital and it was the longest drive of my life.
Once at the hospital we were able to speak to the doctor and the critical care team. They discussed other surgical options we could have mom undergo, but we decided that mom would not want to endure such invasive pain from such a procedure. The decision was made to remove mom from the ventilator and allow nature to take its course and to give our mother the opportunity to have a conversation with God. The critical care team expected mom to live less than an hour after extubating. Mom would breathe on her own for almost five hours with her two sons and her daughters-in-law by her side.
DeLisa Ann Swagery would pass away at 1:15am on February 17, 2021. She leaves behind two sons, four sisters, and 10 grandchildren: along with a host of loving family members and friends.
How It Started:
Before COVID-19 was even a part of our lives, our mother was already dealing with a list of health complications. She had been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and osteoporosis about 20 years prior, she had two brain tumors, which resulted in two separate surgeries. Because of her health complications, we know this led to her depression and isolation, pushing away those that loved her the most.
Our mother was hurting mentally, emotionally, and physically. We tried to help and too often she would not let us, even when it came to handling her financial affairs during her chronic illnesses and mental health issues.
As many others who have lost loved ones, the process of digging though financial matters can be a reality that we are not always prepared to learn about; especially while grieving.
Knowing the type of woman our mother was, she did not want to burden her children with her financial troubles. Unfortunately, we had to find out the hard way. She has financial debt and the home where she once welcomed those most in need; needs major repairs that we cannot afford to pay while raising our own growing families.
As a single mother, who reached the level to buy her two boys a home- it would be an honor to her (and us) to keep her house in our family. With that being said… this house is in dire need of repair work – along with the offsetting of her financial obligations. Now, that we are going through her financial records it has put a strain on us. We are at a crossroads.
It was at this moment when we realized that we needed the help of our beloved community.
How Your Donations Can Help:
Our mother was a beautiful person who had a caring soul. She loved people and wanted the best for everybody. She served her church and community to the best of her ability, and she was a great mentor to many of her friends, family members, and total strangers.
You can help us and our mother, DeLisa Swagerty, honor her legacy within her community of Kingsport, Tennessee. You can do this through your generous donations that would go towards the following:
- Offsetting DeLisa’s financial obligations to help relieve family strain.
- House renovation for homeowner’s down payment assistance program for qualified families
If we raise more than our target goal of $14,235 ($20,000+):
- The creation of the DeLisa Swagerty Memorial Foundation
- Funds donated to the Kitchen of Hope to help feed those in need.
All donations will go directly to DeLisa’s sons; DiMin’go Hale and Judah Swagerty. Any amount – however large or small – will be a great comfort and, we hope, a blessing to you as much as it will be for our family and community.
This page is dedicated to DeLisa and her sons. One of DeLisa’s dreams, as a single mother, was to be able to leave behind a home for her two sons to carry on the family legacy. This memorial fund has been set up by the family to ensure her dream is realized. 100% of the funds collected will go towards this goal and assisting the family during this difficult time.
- John Watkins
- Miesheia Robertson
- Michelle Kilgore
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