Even with a diagnosis of bone cancer and severe osteoporosis, Mosley has continued to reach out to others with compassion and caring, just like he did in his nursing career.
He’s had 56 surgeries to date, and in June 2005, lost his right leg due to an infection in his blood following one of the surgeries.
In his wheelchair, Mosley makes his way every second Saturday of the month to Citizens Baptist Hospital in Talladega where he leads a support group for people with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers.
He’s led the group for 30 years now, and for Mosley, it will continue, as long as he’s able.
Saturday, Mosley’s efforts in helping others, even during times when he wasn’t so well himself, will be cited by the hospital staff and those who know him, with an appreciation reception.
Hosted by the hospital, any and all who know of Mosley’s efforts are invited to attend and help thank the long-time volunteer for his work.
Mosley went to work at Citizens Baptist Hospital in 1965, taking a job in the dietary department while he continued his education and became a technician in the emergency room, also working at night in a textile mill to get his LPN.
Upon completing his LPN, Mosley continued working at the hospital, doing what he loved-helping people.
It was just a year after getting his degree Mosley found out he had bone cancer.
When Mosley could no longer keep his paying job, he became a volunteer at the hospital, and became the surgical patient liaison for patients undergoing surgery and their families.
Mosley would apprise the family of their patient’s progress, helping them through the process from start to finish.
But there were lots of other things he did, too.
“At one point in time, Mr. Mosley sat with a patient who was dying of bladder cancer for 24 hours at a time,” said Cathy Nunn, an operating room nurse who worked with Mosley.
“I thought it was remarkable, especially considering the physical condition that his cancer had left his body in. That is one thing that makes him so special. No matter how much pain he may have, or how difficult it may be for him to get up and go, he does so because the nurse in him knows that there are others out there who need his help. He is committed to serve those who have a need for him.”
Mosely turned his attention to the problems of Alzheimer’s and dementia after losing both parents to the disease.
He has lots of insight into caring for those with the disease, and he doesn’t hesitate the slightest saying what’s most important.
Sitting in his Talladega apartment, Mosley maneuvers his chair close and speaks in a soft and assured voice.
“Patience,” he says. “And then, prayer.”
The walls of his apartment are filled with mementoes from his nursing career, a collection of surgical instruments on one wall and newspaper clippings and recognitions of his service.
The nameplate from his desk is placed on a table in the living room, it reads, “Clifford Mosley, surgery patient liaison.”
Usually, there will be anywhere from 10 to 15 people at the support group meetings, Mosley said.
Attendance varies, largely due to the circumstances Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers are in.
“Sometimes, they just can’t leave their family member to get there,” Mosley said.
He keeps on with the group, saying, “If I don’t, I worry that no one else will.”
Mosley provides emotional support to group members, and also makes sure they have the correct medical information they need about Alzheimer’s.
He offers tips on how to best help the patient and advice on activities that can help when patients have bad days, such as the agitation that often accompanies the disease.
Mosley also tries to lead people to the help they need while caring for an Alzheimer’s patient.
Patti Kulovitz, co-leader for the support group and a medical social worker for Citizens, said anyone in search of help and information about Alzheimer’s is welcome to join the group, which meets from 10 a.m. until 11 a.m. in the hospital’s banquet room.
She calls Mosley a “remarkable man.”
“He started the group and after losing a number of family members to the disease, continues to want to reach out and help other patients and families who need information and support,” Kulovitz said.
Nunn said Mosley has taken the hardships he’s undergone in life and turned them around to help other people.
“Through his own experience, his compassion for others has blossomed,” she said.
“He has taken his experience and turned it into a life lesson. I have never once heard him complain,” Nunn said.
“He always looks for the up side of every situation and is inspirational for that,” she said. “ Simply put, he is a man you would want to know.”