This past year God called home our mother. She died in the loving care of the Hamilton Hospice Facility. All of the staff members were exceedingly kind and helpful to our family. Our mother was a wonderful person. When she was lucid many on the staff enjoyed her. However, one RN, in particular, was beyond our imaginations when it came to kindness, empathy, concern, and helpfulness. Mom, in her last weeks, was uncommunicative, yet somehow Lisa Sunderhaus, RN always seemed to know her needs. Lisa gave Mom the care, and the special attention needed for her to be calm and comfortable. There seemed to be chemistry between them, a knowing eye contact between them that communicated to Lisa what mom needed or wanted, and Lisa delivered. When we were not with Mom we understood that Lisa would sit with her, be there for her, and for us.
Neither of us children felt fully prepared for the passing of our mom despite our “knowing” this was the path that she was on. Lisa helped us understand what was happening and assured us that Mom was okay. Those reassurances helped us to be as “okay” as possible with the journey Mom was taking. Lisa always knew the status of Mom’s condition and could provide answers to any small detail that we might question. In many ways, it felt like Lisa had adopted Mom as her own because she cared for her like she was her own family.
We think that Lisa, an outstanding RN, most likely gives each of her patients the same attention and dedication that she provided to our mom and our family. It seems to be in her DNA. Lucky are the patients who experience Lisa’s care in their final days. And lucky are the families to have Lisa help them as they observe that end. TriHealth’s Nursing Vision states, “Excellence in patient and family-centered care through commitment to compassionate, professional nursing practice.” Lisa personifies that vision for families experiencing loss and grief. She is a light for the final journey and a beacon for those of us who must go on. We will never be able to adequately thank Lisa for the comfort she provided.