During a recent stay at AAMC for bilateral mastectomies and reconstructive surgery I had the honor/pleasure of being a patient of Lorraine Antel's. Lorraine's dedication to providing excellent care made what was probably the most traumatic event of my life a tolerable event. After 13 hours of surgery I was in pain, scared and confused. Lorraine cared for me in a compassionate and caring way which fostered a sense of trust and a feeling of safety. Her dedication to my medical needs, which were many at the time, allowed me to rest more comfortably knowing my medical needs were being met. She treated me with dignity and respect . . . and let's face it - it is hard to feel much dignity when someone else is bathing you and rolling you around to change the sheets. But not once did I feel like it was a chore for her or just a job....she really made me feel cared for and protected. She was respectful and communicative as she built a rapport with my family, which made their fears ease as they felt I was in the best care possible with Lorraine. Lorraine cared about the little things . . . the details. . . .that may not matter in the big scheme of things but that make us feel human - and in that environment it is sometimes impossible to feel human.
When I was being moved from the ICU to the oncology unit Loraine made sure I was bathed (which is no easy task I am sure since I am no light weight) before I went and my basic needs met - she probably could have let them do it when I got there, but she had already built a rapport and trust with me and I am thankful that she took the time and effort to take care of me first before my transfer. She also wrote extensive notes and spoke in detail regarding my care with the oncology department where I ended up. I have an extreme fear of needles and Lorraine always was respectful in recognizing my fears and helping me cope with what was a very difficult situation emotionally for me.
She delivered me herself to the oncology unit and met extensively with their nurses - I felt very secure in the knowledge that they understood my needs both physically and emotionally. She was also willing to come up if any specific need should arise and communicated this emphatically to them. Overall, I really cannot say enough about the amazing level of care both physically and emotionally that Lorraine provided for me during my stay at AAMC and her impact on my life during this critical time was immense - her compassion and dedication will never be forgotten by this patient and I am sure many others.