A patient was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit. As the days went on, his condition started to deteriorate, however, his mind was still intact. The local family started to gather at his bedside over the course of time, and the patient’s mother and brother started making arrangements to fly from the west coast. The patient wanted to make sure his wife was taken care of upon his passing. The patient’s son had the patient’s last will and testament updated with the lawyers to reflect his current wishes.
The end was coming near and the patient knew his time was limited but wanted to fight to stay alive to see his mother. Arrangements were made by family for his mother and brother to come to Georgia. The patient was using every ounce of energy to stay alive so he could speak to his mother one last time. However, the patient also continued to be concerned about his last will and testament being followed through with the changes. Robin Pickett and Marci Gentry stayed with the patient to witness his last will and testament being read and recorded, so the patient could find the peace that his wife would be cared for after his death. By this time his mother and brother we on a flight to Atlanta.
As nurses, we can see the signs of impending death in a patient. The nurses recognized these signs and feared his mother and brother would not make it in time to fulfill the patient’s last wish to speak to his mother. Robin and Marci, with heavy hearts discussed wanting more than anything for the patient’s mother to arrive in time to be with her son. Together, Robin and Marci arranged a police escort from Hartsfield-Jackson airport immediately upon arriving in Atlanta.
The effort was made possible by three counties. Handoff at each county line was waiting and made it possible for the patient’s mother and brother to arrive at the hospital in less than thirty minutes. A county officer escorted the brother and mother, who was in a wheelchair, to the Intensive Care Unit. The mother was wheeled to the patient's bedside where she started to cry. The patient reached out for his mother’s hand and turned to her and started to cry. The brother leaned in to complete the reunion in tears. The patient was growing markedly weaker and arrangements were immediately put into motion for hospice. During this time, the family all had gathered by the bedside, the mother and the patient holding hands being the center. The ICU charge nurse led the patient in the prayer of salvation, which he repeated as he was wearing his BiPAP. There wasn’t a single dry eye. In the final moments of his life, he was able to find comfort and peace knowing he was leaving this world the same way he came into this world, in the arms of his mother.
Robin went above and beyond normal duty to honor a dying man’s last wishes. The efforts put together by these nurses made for a peaceful transition for both the patient and the family. His strong mind and spirit kept him alive, but having his mother at his side to talk to one last time gave him peace to let go.
The nurses did all of this without expectation of acknowledgment, never seeking the spotlight. The story was kept quiet, until a passing comment and the family recognizing the efforts were brought to light days later. These acts were a labor of love and a testament to the nurses’ genuine compassion. They are content in knowing that peace and closure were provided for the patient and family.