Critical Care Unit at
Capital Health Hopewell
December 2016
Critical Care Unit at
Capital Health Hopewell
RNs and more
Critical Care Unit
Capital Health Medical Center Hopewell
United States




We had the pleasure of meeting and caring for a 62-year-old male, Mr. K, who was recently diagnosed with non-small cell lung carcinoma with metastasis to the brain. He had a large cancerous mass in his right lung and an x-ray also revealed hilar adenopathy.  A CT scan of the head revealed a small brain hemorrhage which was subsequently treated with CyberKnife.

Mr. K developed hematuria and severe shortness of breath while at home which ultimately led his family to call 911. He arrived in the Hopewell emergency department where he was found to have bilateral pleural effusions. He was intubated and brought to the ICU. Mr. K went on to have a VATs procedure, two chest tubes, and two IVC filters placed for bilateral lower extremity clots.  To further complicate his stay, Mr. K’s only daughter was getting married in a week and a half. His daughter and wife questioned us asking us, “Will my dad make it to my wedding”? “Will my husband be able to walk my daughter down the aisle?” And, “how much more time does he have?”

These were questions that pained us to hear.  Although we weren’t certain of the answers to their questions, our patient’s future looked grim. As we continued to care for Mr. K we began to ponder the question, “what can we do for Mr. K and his family?”  This led to a collaborative effort and coordination to make our patient and his family’s wish come true.

We reached out to nursing and hospital administrators, and they wholeheartedly agreed that we could grant this wish and they ran with it. On the day of Mr. K’s daughter’s wedding we arranged for the wedding ceremony to be held in our chapel. The ICU nursing staff was able to work with our physicians and obtain an order to allow our patient to travel to the chapel. The Patient Experience team, guided by the hospital's Concierge, donated fresh flowers for the chapel and helped to coordinate the ceremony. The patient’s wife arranged to have their family chaplain perform the ceremony.  The wedding photographer was present and music was provided.

Mr. K was escorted to the chapel by our nursing staff, critical care technicians, and with the help of our respiratory therapy department. The dedicated nurses of our ICU, along with support from physicians, our respiratory department, and management allowed us to grant our patient’s dying wish to be at his daughter’s wedding. The bride, groom, mother of bride, bridal party, and our ICU staff were fortunate enough to spend these precious last moments with Mr. K and his family. There was not a dry eye in the room.

The ICU staff was blessed to be able to share in this extraordinary event.  The family was completely grateful for everything our Capital Health nurses and employees were able to do for this family.  We allowed a dying man to spend a special, milestone moment with his wife and daughter.  For this I am completely in awe of my coworkers, management, and our hospital to pull together and grant this gift.

Three days after his daughter’s wedding, Mr. K passed away peacefully while surrounded by his loved ones. Although the news of Mr. K’s passing produced a somber mood in our unit, our nurses took pride in knowing what an impact they had on Mr. K’s last moments of life.

Team Members:

Kristi Abbott, RN

Suzanne Ahde, RN

Angie Avellaneda, RN

Yasmin Bascara, RN

Yolanda Bascara, RN

Chelo Batista, RN

Sylvia Beckles-Moss, RN

Jessica Bezold, RN

Walter Brady, RN

Heather Brakel, RN

Nanayaa Breedy, RN

Monette Cabral, RN

Madeline Cahill, Unit Secretary

Melissa Calix, RN

Sheena Campbell-Acquah, Critical Care Technician

Amy Chamberlain, Critical Care Technician

Melissa Chichillitti, RN, Nurse Manager

Allison Close, RN

Amy Colucci, RN

Sharon Cunningham, RN

Leslie Dolina-Gugnani, RN

Elizabeth Donaldson, RN

Deeca Dunham, RN

Keirstyn Evert, Unit Secretary

Danielle Goodwin, RN

Lyn Gueson, RN

Julie Henshaw, RN, Assistant Nurse Manager

Charissa Ingles, Critical Care Technician

Joanne Isler, Critical Care Technician

Allison James, RN

Elzbieta Kaczmarek, RN

Maribel Martinez, RN

Kristen Menchhofer, RN

Charmaine Ramos, RN

Christina Rietzen, RN

Dijesnae Roberts, Critical Care Technician

Rosy Roby, RN

Maria Ronquillo, Critical Care Technician

Dawn Sarno, RN

Edmundo Santos, RN

David Schwind, Critical Care Technician

Gail Santiago-Mandelaro, Critical Care Technician

Lauren Scott, RN

Lisa Seruby, RN

Jessica Silverio, Unit Secretary

Lauren Slagle, RN

Lisa Sleman, Unit Secretary

Courtney Smith, Critical Care Technician

Kristen Stuenckel, RN

Sandria Thompson, Critical Care Technician

Courtney Torres, Unit Secretary

Nancy Van Dine, RN

Cristina Vittese, RN

JoAnn Wolfson, RN, Clinical Educator

Kathleen Wojnar, RN

Marsha Wurst, RN

Adriana Yenchik, RN

Jennifer Zadnik, RN

Angelika Zeidel, RN