Lauren O'Donnell
February 2019
Emergency Department
Capital Health Regional Medical Center
United States




I just wanted to drop you a note about what I witnessed today while on trauma call at Regional. An elderly male, retired police officer shot himself in the head in a suicide attempt. He had been battling bladder cancer and had suffered many complications. The injury was non-survivable, and the family presented the patient's living will. The plan was to enact comfort measures once his two daughters arrived. The family was in the grieving room, awaiting the final sister's arrival. It was at that time that I re-entered the trauma bay to find the trauma nurse, Lauren O'Donnell, sitting in a chair next to the patient, holding his hand and comforting the intubated, comatose dying patient. It was one of the most compassionate and caring acts I have witnessed in my 20+ years of surgery. She was not going to let him die alone. I am honored to work with a nurse of such character. She exemplifies the attributes of caring, compassion, and empathy that all should strive to emulate. We are very fortunate, as are our patients, to have nurses like Lauren at Capital Health.