A patient presented to Sentara Albemarle ED with malaise, dry cough, sore throat, and dyspnea. He was treated with Tamiflu but began to decompensate despite treatment. The patient was transferred to Sentara Norfolk General with newly diagnosed heart dysfunction, with an ejection fraction of 10%. The patient went through a left heart cath to find that his cors were clean, the cardiac biopsy was negative for myocarditis, leaving no known sources of illness. The patient continued to decompensate, despite the best efforts of the nurses and physicians, and necessitated an urgent move to the Cardiac OR for ECMO. Throughout all of this, his wife, who was 9 months pregnant, never left his side. The couple was newly married and this was their first child. The wife, under stress, started to spot, requiring her own medical attention and was admitted through the ED for induction of their child. The wife had the baby and within two hours was back at her husband’s bedside trying to juggle caring for her newborn and critically ill husband. The mother and newborn were discharged from the hospital and were staying in a room in guest services, as they lived so far away in NC and didn’t want to leave the patient’s side any longer than necessary.
Megan was this patient’s nurse on and off during his stay in the CICU. Megan took the time to care for the patient and his wife during his stay to ensure complete care for the patient and their family was accomplished. She knew from experience how hard it is to care for a newborn, let alone not having your husband or support system there. Realizing that the patient’s wife wasn’t able to even get to sleep in her own bed, Megan could see she wasn’t prepared or expecting to stay in Norfolk for so long before the baby was born, and in-turn was underprepared for the baby’s arrival. Megan went home and gathered clothes, toys, and other needed items for this new mom and her newborn. She came to the hospital on her day off to deliver the supplies to the new mom and stay with her a while to make sure she was taking care of herself. Megan went above and beyond to not only care for her patient, but also to care for her patient’s family in a time of confusion, stress, and need all while being hours away from their home and support system. Megan is truly a dedicated nurse with empathy and compassion.