Mary had a very sick patient in the ICU. After working all day to try to stabilize the patient, the decision was made to move to comfort care. Despite being gravely ill, her patient was still very awake and alert and wanted to spend this last bit of time with her family. All of the family was gathered at the patient’s bedside to be with her. Except one. The patient’s grandson had been admitted, as a patient himself, in another hospital.
Mary heard from family that the grandson was planning to leave so he could come say goodbye to his grandmother.
Mary was concerned that, by leaving, the grandson was risking his own health. In addition, there was a chance that he may not make it to his grandmother’s side in time. Mary had an idea and called this other hospital to speak to the grandson’s nurse.
Mary spoke to the grandson’s nurse and asked if she had an iPhone. The nurse did not but found the secretary who did. Mary asked the secretary if she’d be willing to use her phone to “FaceTime” Mary’s phone. She agreed. The secretary then gave her phone to the grandson and Mary gave her phone to the grandmother. The grandson was able to say goodbye to his grandmother “face to face”. Mary’s patient died within the hour. Had her grandson left the hospital, he would have risked his health and, most likely, would not have made it in time to say goodbye.