When Cheri came to work in the palliative care department, she already had the heart for palliative care and felt a calling from God to support these patients and families. Cheri has a strong ability to connect with a patient and their family and meet them where they are at with their goals. She wins their trust by showing compassion and treating the patient with dignity. We have received Own It recognitions and personal letters from families stating just this.
One family of a patient wrote, "Words cannot express how helpful and guiding Cheri has been to our family". A caregiver commended Cheri on "stopping what she was doing to help her with cleaning up a patient during a very busy day". Cheri genuinely cares about her patients and their quality of life. She has a compassionate heart and is noticed by all who come in contact with her.
Cheri always shows compassionate and dignified care to her patients and their families, however, on this particular day, she knew a particular family was going to need the support and advocacy we do not encounter on a daily basis. A young 46-year-old woman was admitted to our hospital with sepsis. Despite the best interventions, this patient was losing her battle with multi-organ failure. This patient was coded for two hours and 10 minutes in all. Although resuscitation efforts had failed, and doctors pronounced the patient, her husband did not wish for efforts to be stopped. Cheri remained at the bedside supporting him and the rest of the family. She led the prayer for hours. Due to religious beliefs, he believed his wife was still alive and stated, "Jesus will bring her back". In their religion, there is prayer over the body for 3 days for resurrection. Cheri was able to coordinate with the house shift supervisor to allow for a private room for the family to begin their prayers. During this whole experience, Cheri respected the cultural beliefs, led prayer in supporting these beliefs, and facilitated accommodations to support prayer, but most of all treated this family with compassion and dignity honoring the values of St Mary Medical Center.