Diana is a Registered Nurse for Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and she is a certified hospital interpreter for The Creole language. Diana was recently brought to the NICU to help us with a difficult case as an interpreter with a Haitian Creole speaking family.
The family gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, who unfortunately suffered from an intrauterine neurologic event leaving him ventilator dependent and relying on tube feedings for nutritional support. Diana came to the NICU to help interpret a very difficult family meeting in which we discussed the infant’s devastating prognosis and reviewed options with the family which included surgical interventions for life-sustaining support, allow natural death, or withdraw of support. Understandably, the family had a very difficult time digesting all of the information and coming to a decision on how to proceed with their infant’s care. The NICU presented the case to the Pediatric Bioethics Committee. The family was invited and Diana came in on her day off to serve as an interpreter again for this family. The bond she established helped the family to understand every facet of their baby’s care and the difficult decision before them. She stayed after the committee meeting to attend another meeting with the family to help them gain closure on the events surrounding the birth, as they were able to speak with the OB providing care to the mother. But, Diana didn’t stop there. On another day, Diana was working and had another nurse cover her assignment so she could once again interpret for this family as they met one final time with the neurologist, neonatologist, and the hospice physician as plans for withdrawing support were made. One more time, Diana again came to the NICU and sat with this family to interpret what was happening and help support the mother and father during their final moments with their son.
Diana is beyond extraordinary for providing an environment in which this family could speak with a medical professional in their own language during the most difficult time in their life. And she is extraordinary because she never once said: “I’m not a NICU nurse” she gave herself openly to this family and sat with them through their most emotional and devastating time. We were beyond lucky to have Diana with us during this time.