Some feel called to a certain line of work, but Patra Bowman found a calling in volunteering for Shepherd’s Cove.

Patra is a patient care and grief support volunteer. Whether she is visiting with a patient or writing a sympathy card for a grieving family member, Patra does each assignment with a lot of love and prayers that stem from her own experiences with terminal illness and grief.

Patra has beaten cancer four times and walked the end-of-life road with her parents. While these experiences were certainly painful, Patra sees purpose in all of them. She uses her own trials to help others going through similar seasons of terminal illness and grief.

“I know what it is to struggle with things, and I can relate to the people whose names I’m writing and reading,” she said. “I can relate to that struggle they’re having.”

Patra has an innate enthusiasm that she puts into all her volunteer tasks. When she writes cards or prepares paperwork, she says a prayer for the names she encounters. When she visits with patients, she listens to them and simply loves them as much as she can.

The effects of her compassion are far from minimal. Her seemingly endless positivity even touches the lives of the Shepherd’s Cove staff.

“She comes in every day with a smile and is always willing to do anything,” employee Selena Ledbetter said. “She’s such an inspiration to everybody. She’s just a breath of sunshine every time you meet her. She amazes me. I love her. She’s just precious.”

Through all her experiences, Patra said she refuses to let circumstances steal her joy and takes comfort in the belief that “it’s all in His hands.” She feels her volunteer work with Shepherd’s Cove is truly a calling.

“I believe this is the pathway that I’m supposed to be walking, so I’ll walk it as long as I can,” she said.