Recently, the MICU team on the fourth floor of Doan Hall at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center cared for a patient and his family for over five months. The patient was a lung transplant recipient and was dealing with rejection, a recurrent infection, and respiratory failure. Over his extended stay, the MICU became a second home for the patient and their family, going through many milestones of life. In October, the patient and his fiancée wanted to make their love legally binding, and asked to be married.
Knowing that he would likely not see the outside of a clinical setting again in his life, the multidisciplinary MICU team collaborated with the transplant team social workers, department of chaplaincy, and county courts to plan a wedding for the patient and his bride. Organizing a wedding was no small feat, requiring rearranging the patient's ventilator and standing him up in front of the hospital chaplain with the use of an ergonomic chair. Many of the staff were in attendance at the wedding, and some even came in before their shift started on the evening of the special event.
As is common in many extended ICU admissions, the patient weathered many storms and celebrated many triumphs; however, in December, it was apparent he was reaching the end of his battle with his respiratory failure. The decision was made to transition to palliative care and the patient and his family went through yet another milestone of life with the 4 Doan MICU team.
Weeks later, the team received a note from the patient's wife:
I'd like to take a little bit of your time to let you know about my experience on 4 Doan MICU. Firstly, all of my concerns were addressed in a professional and timely manner by the management team. I consider this unit a second home because most of the nursing staff made it feel that way. Most of these nurses became my friends over the course of my husband's five-month stay. A handful of nurses on this floor I began to consider my FAMILY. These nurses went above and beyond their paygrade. Megan Leffler is one of those nurses. I can't put into words how grateful I am for her. If I needed anything, she was there. She laughed with me, she cried with me, she held my hand. She took her own personal time to sit with me the night he passed. She made a devastating situation more tolerable. It was comforting to have her there with me, and she needs all praise in the world.
Eric Ball, Ruth Moyer, and Jeri Cerbus are also nurses that I consider my family. Eric is one of the most professional nurses I've ever met. He is ALWAYS early, and when he was assigned to my husband, I knew he'd be in his room right at 7 pm: the second his shift started. This may not sound like a big deal to you, but to me it was everything. I knew my husband was in good hands with Eric.
Ruth is also one of the best. I swear that woman has the patience of a saint. My husband pushed his call light excessively one evening when his anxiety was high. Ruth always came in with patience, calmness, and comfort.
In early fall when he went through rejection, I spent many hours and days in his room and Jeri always made me feel better through our conversations. My husband loved music. I could always count on Jeri to put on some "old school gangster rap" during her shift, just for him.
Lastly, I'd like to thank everyone who was involved in making our wedding a reality. It was truly special and something I will cherish for the rest of my life. Thank you.