My son was treated for leukemia (specifically acute T-cell PLL) at the City of Hope beginning in late 2016 until winter of 2017. In mid-April, he received a bone marrow transplant and Heather was one of his first, if not the first, nurse to treat him after his transplant.
Heather exemplified the care that we would see. She continually informed my son of the care that she was providing, asked him if he had any questions, and asked if there was anything else that she could do for him. And after she had taken care of him, she would turn to the other family or friends in the room and ask us if we had questions or if there was something she could do for us. But as I say, such care was something that we saw from most of the employees.
What made Heather special was her desire to connect with my son and to us as people, not just as a patient or patient's family. This interest in us as friends was a welcome diversion from the gravity of the situation. She wanted to know more about my son, his husband, and their twin 4-year-old sons.
This interest in us was not confined to the hospital room. Throughout my son’s many visits and stays we repeatedly ran into Heather. Each time Heather sought us out and inquired about his health and of course she wanted to know how we were doing and how were those the twins.
Near the end of his life, he was admitted to ICU. I saw Heather in the hallway in front of the Bistro. She came up to me to get the latest information. Through the tears, I had to tell her that he was in ICU, not doing well and that he would probably not make it. She stretched out her arms and gave me a much-needed hug. For the next week during her breaks, Heather made numerous visits to ICU to check on my son and us.
I feel blessed that our family got to know Heather. I cannot imagine finding a more caring, loving nurse. We were so lucky to be in her care.