Every once and a while a nurse comes along that leaves a lasting impression for the compassionate patient family centered care they deliver. I have often worked with Ashley Kilcommons in MICU and have been in awe of her amazing care but the care she delivered to a muscular dystrophy patient this week in MICU was simply extraordinary and needs to be recognized.
From the time a patient with a neuromuscular disorder is born they are the center of their family's attention. They need 24-hour care and dedicated personalized care. When these patients come to the hospital it is a very tenuous balance between providing care and including the family in caregiving. When Ashley's patient came to MICU she wasn't breathing very well and her family was answering for her and persuading her to make decisions based on their feelings. Ashley not only recognized this but helped guide the patient to confront her fears and her wishes though they were very hard for her family to accept. The patient's mother was devastated; her daughter was the center of her life as she provided 24-hour care to her. A plan by the patient was made to provide comfort measures. Ashley navigated through this very tough time flawlessly. I know this because I personally had a relationship with the patient and their family and when they asked to see me they made sure to express how wonderful Ashley was to them. They wanted to recognize her for the special give she gave them "she made our baby comfortable".
Just after midnight a mother's baby (no matter how old she was) passed away in the peace of Ashley's care. As life comes to an end, the beauty of peace sometimes presents itself. Ashley is an angel; her compassion and care are remarkable. A nurse like Ashley doesn't often come along and when they do their extraordinary care needs to be recognized. Ashley is a prime candidate for the DAISY Award, she is a model and a mentor to all of us. She lives the values of our hospital and shares the compassion in her heart with all that are around her.