BRANSON WEST, Mo. — “I’ve always just cared about people and cared about making sure that everybody has something to smile about,” said Remarkable Women finalist Jody Palmer.
Jody Palmer has always had a heart for taking care of others. Palmer spent 25 years running assisted living facilities in California until an injury forced her to leave the industry.
“I actually have had four surgeries in the last five years, mostly spinal issues. I’ve had two fusions, so I’m mostly metal in my neck and shoulders and I have some lower back issues, so that’s a challenge all in itself,” Palmer said.
Shortly after leaving her job, her family decided to move to the Branson area, something her next-door neighbor John Goff says was meant to happen.
“If God didn’t send her, one of the angels brought her from California,” Goff said.
During COVID-19, Palmer helped Goff care for his wife, Cora Belle, who had Dementia. Palmer stayed around the clock helping dress, groom, feed, medicate and monitor vitals until Cora Belle passed away on July 1, 2020.
Goff says Palmer was the difference between his wife going to an assisted care facility and spending her final moments at home.
“This was during COVID and you know you couldn’t even go visit your wife,” Goff said.
That’s not the only way Palmer stepped up during the pandemic. She also delivered free meals to those who were forced to quarantine.
Her advice for someone wanting to give back to the community? Find a place to start.
“Anything that you can give back, whether it’s giving somebody a ride to the store, picking up their medications. I do a lot of that also when people don’t have a car or just need help getting a few things whatever you can do, it all counts. “
Jody Palmer was nominated by her cousin Jennifer Scott and friend Angela Taylor.
Below are excerpts from their letters nominating Palmer
“Jody has a heart of gold. She is always trying to help people whenever she can. She has a small business that she runs out of her home, making delicious Mexican food. If she knows a person in need, she will make sure they are fed. She goes out of her way to take care of the elderly. In the last couple of months, she has started making and delivering meals to families in our community that have COVID completely free of charge! She doesn’t have a lot, but she gives everything she has and then some,” Angela Taylor said.
“Jody has had multiple neck surgeries and is considered disabled, but this does not stop her from taking care of her elderly neighbors. She is always giving. She cooks meals for people with COVID-19 and drops them off at their home for them. She works through all the pain and still keeps giving,” Jennifer Scott said.
Jody Palmer is one of four women selected by a panel of judges as a finalist. One winner will receive a donation to her charity of choice.
Every Tuesday morning in March, we will air a story on one of the final four women.
The winner will be announced on April 1 on Daybreak during our Remarkable Women special to wrap up Women’s History Month.