October 2020
Oncology Nurses
at UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center
Oncology
UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center
Los Angeles
,
CA
Amanda McKaig, BSN, RN, OCN; Aimee Villahermosa, BSN, RN, OCN; Shanell Jones, BSN, RN; Jackie Arias, RN; Mary Katherine Burgess, MSN, RN, OCN; Ariel Flores, MDiv, BCC; Allegra Bell, BSN, RN, OCN

 

 

 

Patient J was a 30-year-old female who the team on the unit had taken care of for years. We had celebrated her birthdays, holidays, and her engagement together. Marking these happy milestones with endless rounds of chemotherapy, procedures, and frequent hospital stays for symptom management. However, the trajectory of her care turned rapidly. Overnight her oxygen requirements couldn't be met, and the patient and the family knew the end was near. Fearing that she wouldn't make the night the team initiated 3 Wishes.

Patient J had her wedding already scheduled for November, and the Charge RN paged the on-call chaplain. The chaplain came at 02:30 AM so Patient J and her fiancé could exchange wedding vows and promises to one another in the sight of her parents and family friends. Led by the Resource RN, the other floor nurses decorated Patient J's room with an essential oil diffuser, electric candlelight, hung pictures of family and friends, and made fingerprint keychains for all of her family. The Oncology team came together for one of our dearest patients and created her final wish, an unofficial wedding before God to be completed against all odds at 3 in the morning. Patient J passed away a couple of hours later surrounded by love from not only her family but from the team on the unit as well.