"Family is Gateful for Outstanding Care in Mother's Final Days"
Tom H.s’ mother, Lori, spent her final days at Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center. While saying goodbye to her was incredibly painful, Tom said he and his entire family found comfort in knowing she had the very best care, and her family benefitted from incredible support.
“Mom had a fatal brain bleed,” Tom said. “She was walking into her house when she suddenly fell backward. We don’t know whether it was an intracranial hemorrhage or a stroke or something else. Whatever it was, it was sudden. She was transferred from St. Luke’s to the ED at St. V’s and then admitted to the Neuro ICU on a Saturday. My sister and father were with her. I came down from Michigan on Sunday, and I immediately wanted to know what was going on. The nurse I talked with made sure we had all the I’s dotted and T’s crossed as far as what she could tell me since I was not Mom’s durable power of attorney. But she was very patient, kind, understanding and caring in talking with me.”
Tom said the communication at every step was handled in the most sensitive manner possible.
“The chaplains came in,” Tom said. “They were very caring as well. One of them went out to sit in the hall with my 5- and 7-year-old boys in the waiting room because they could not come into the ICU. The doctor told us Mom was not going to recover. She was moved to Palliative Care. The chaplain support and nursing care on that unit could not have been better. We knew that even though Mom was just breathing, we could be confident that she was receiving world-class care. She was shown respect, dignity and compassion. Most of all, she was loved. During the most difficult of times, she was in the best hands.”
The nurses also looked after the needs of Lori’s family.
“They brought us chairs and linens and answered all of our questions, taking time to treat us with respect,” Tom said. “They always explained what they were doing. And, when Mom passed away, we were allowed to stay in the room with her as long as we wanted to say our goodbyes.”
The excellent care and support Lori’s family experienced did not end with the chaplains and nurses in Palliative Care.
“Everyone we encountered was compassionate,” Tom said. “Even a housekeeper who came by took time to talk to us and try to offer us hope. People were like that in all areas of the hospital. Even in the cafeteria, we knew the staff didn’t know what was going on with our family, but they could tell we were going through a difficult time, and they treated us with respect and compassion. We just wanted everyone at St. V’s to know that Mom’s last days on earth were comfortable, and her family was at ease. Our loss was sudden, but having compassionate staff deliver her care made a big difference in helping us handle it."
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