In April 2018, we had the honor of taking care of a 38-year old female with terminal cancer. While 4 East cares for patients with all diagnoses, we do not typically specialize in cancer care, especially at the end of a patient's life. This patient was very special to us. She had three children- a son in college, a 17-year old senior in high school and a 7-year-old daughter. She was not doing well. Every day was physically challenging, as any movement she would try would bring her to critical levels. She did not want to go on a ventilator. Her goal was to live to see her 17-year-old graduate in May. The 4 East staff worked tirelessly 24/7 to help her achieve this goal. Unfortunately, we were unable to help her reach it. When it came time for her children to come in, as a floor, we prepared the room and their mom for their goodbyes. The 17-year-old asked us to allow him to tell his younger sister the news. When his sister came down the hallway riding piggyback on her brother’s back, she exclaimed, "Wow! Everyone is here for my mom!" Her joy turned to wails of sorrow as her brother told her of her mom's passing. Thinking ahead, we had prepared the conference room for the family, called on the on-call minister and called pediatrics information to the children's grandmother on resources for the family and Hospice reps came over with brochures and camp information for the youngest child. The 4 East staff thought of this patient and her family as their own. There was not a dry eye on our unit that day. We were blessed that Carrie Mathias and the spiritual care team came to help us.
4 East is an amazing unit. This is just of the special events that our team experienced. As a team, we collect clothing for our homeless patients, have raised money to donate for car seats and often put together care packages for patients and families. I am very honored to be a part of such a wonderful, enthusiastic, and caring unit.