Assisted living resident performs a 'farewell concert' before being discharged

Posted at 7:03 PM, Feb 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-04 21:30:44-05

LAFAYETTE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Jo Ann Lee has called Knollwood Manor home for the last four weeks. But before the staff there packed up all her things, she had a little business to take care of.

Or should we say, show business.

A few residents and staff members gathered in one of their living areas to listen to Jo Ann sing and play a few of her favorite songs.

"It is her, it is her day, it is her talent," said Lois Woodard, Jo Ann's niece, who came to watch her perform.

Woodard says her excitement during this concert was a far cry from when they dropped her off in early January, following extensive back surgery. "She [was] bored, she wanted to come home and could not come home and so she said, bring me my guitar," said Woodard.

Jo Ann has been strumming and serenading Loretta Lynn songs ever since. That's pretty remarkable, considering her back isn't the only thing that's getting harder to manage.

"She’s been diagnosed with dementia. It has gotten a little bit worse, they actually took her license this past November," said Woodard.

Two things seem to remain strong in Jo Ann's mind -- music and the love shared between her and Lois.

"She’s very important to me. Very," said Woodard. "It is emotional because she has struggled a lot and she has overcame."

Lois is technically her niece but is treated like Jo Ann's own daughter. She says that was a promise started by Jo Ann's sister and Lois's mother. "She wanted to share Lois with me because I didn’t have any kids and that’s the way it’s been all these years. And I thank God for it," said Jo Ann.

She thanks God for her new family here at Knollwood Manor too. So much so, the staff here says she's welcome back at any time for an encore.

"Ok, I’m ready to go home," said Jo Ann, as they climbed into the car and drove her to her house.