Alem was caring for her patient, J, who was alive honestly due to a miracle. He had been very sick in the ICU and you name it, he probably had it attached to him at some point. J has a lot of spirit. He was deaf and would sign and try to communicate on the vent. J's days were up and down. He was from out of town with many family dynamics.
It was time for J's supportive care meeting and Alem was taking care of him this day. Essentially the next of kin was thinking that J would not want to live with his current quality of life. However, other members present were not in agreement. Alem decided to stop the sedation, wake J up and let him decide himself. Alem arranged to have an in-person interpreter for sign language and contacted Dr. F and they had another meeting where J could decide his fate.
J signed to the interpreter he wanted to live. It was very emotional. I wanted to share this story because of Alem's advocacy for his wishes. J was extubated and transferred to telemetry. Before he left for LTACH, J walked down to our unit and gave all of us hugs and well wishes. Amazing to see how sick he was to be walking out of NKCH.