This year, the rock of our family, D, became gravely ill and was admitted to your intensive care unit. She was at the end of a long, courageous battle with metastatic CA, COPD, and emphysema. As you can imagine, with those diagnoses, she had received care at your facility many times throughout her life. I would like to take a moment to recognize one specific person, who stands on a pedestal now in our lives, because of the care he provided to her, Carlos Santos.
Carlos was more than just a nurse to our family. The care he provided professionally speaks wonders as the professional that he is, and you should be proud to have a nurse such as him at your facility. But it was what he did for us personally that forever will be engrained in our hearts. Obviously, as someone is at the end of their life it is never easy for loved ones. This is no exception to that rule. However, there are things that Carlos did for us that made those trying times just a little more comforting, or more at ease. Simple things, for example, like going out of his way to make sure that our family was comfortable in her room, or waiting rooms, as we took turns staying by her side. He went out of his way to get us blankets, pillows, and even got one of our family members a cot so she could sleep in the room with our mother as she lay ill. During her last days, Carlos made our mother comfortable. He kept her dignity intact when she was unresponsive. This was a very important thing to our mother. When she was responsive he would get her drinks and hold the straw for her, change her bed, adjust her bi-pap mask, all at a moment's notice, without complaint or attitude. As Mom, surrounded by those she loved, took her last breaths, Carlos never left us. When he was asked to leave the room during the final moments, Carlos stood guard outside of her room. As the Priest gave our mother her last rights, Carlos kept his head bowed outside of her room, in silence and prayed for our Mom. After Mom passed, Carlos' warm and comforting soul kept with us. He was forever within our reach at a moment's notice, doing whatever he could do to comfort us. Our family will forever be grateful for the above and beyond care and compassion, Carlos Santos gave to us in our time of need and sorrow. He is the true definition of what a new nurse should look to for guidance and role model.