While it has been just over six months since Hannah cared for my sister and our family during my sister's passing, I think of Hannah nearly every day. She was our nurse the final two days in NT-ICU and provided a wealth of comfort to our family in addition to excellent care for my sister. While Hannah's clinical skills are superb, I'd like to speak to "the other side of nursing" that Hannah provided for our family.
She always welcomed our family with a smile, although there was a gaggle of us and we were in the unit nearly 24 hours a day. She took time to visit with my parents, my brother-in-law, my grandmother, me, our siblings and family members as well as my sister's friends. She explained the behaviors we were seeing in my sister to help us not only to understand but to accept the options available to us in her care. When we decided it was time to remove life support measures, Hannah arranged conferences for us with the physician and organ procurement team. While I understand this is likely a typical process, it is the genteel nature in which Hannah handled our distraught family, the genuine caring in her face and her demeanor as she guided my mother into the conference room. That she shed tears with us as we discussed how to proceed showed Hannah's love for nursing and her compassion for families dealing with extremely difficult situations. We had only one unpleasant experience during our time at Cox - before we even had an opportunity to voice our concerns, Hannah advocated for our family and had already elevated the situation to the appropriate parties in order to facilitate a meeting that brought resolution.
Hannah also celebrated joys with us during our time in the unit, providing supplies for us to donate my sister's hair to Locks of Love, playing music my sister would enjoy, and keeping the mood uplifted by listening to humorous stories about my sister. After my sister was transferred to the floor for comfort care measures, Hannah came to visit inquiring after my sister and our family, ever attentive to meet our needs. Hannah never left our presence without ensuring we were ok and asking if there was something she could do for us. As a colleague in healthcare, I have many examples with which to compare Hannah. I expressed something to her before we left the hospital, and it's still how I feel today: Hannah is my "shining star" when it comes to nursing. I pray every patient and every family has a nurse as wonderfully compassionate, clinically skilled, and genuinely caring as Hannah.